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Miss Watson, in the previous film your look already showed that Hermione was not just a girl anymore. Now it seems that she has really turned into a young woman.
"Yes, and it's not just about the look. For the first time the young characters really make personal decisions. For the first time they realise that it's not just Voldemort they have to fight, but also the so-called good people who are in fact abusing their power, like Fudge and Umbridge.
The latter, in particular, acts as a dictator who wants to prevent the students from thinking in the first place. The whole film is a journey through the discovery of who really represents the authority; it tells us that the principle of authority can be questioned. Harry and his friends have to make difficult decision alone this time. They have to understand what is right and what is wrong. Yes, they really become adults. That's probably the reason why there's a lot more politics in this film.
" Critics has always considered politics as an important subject of the Harry Potter saga. Libration, a French newspaper– "I know what Libration is." Sorry. Libration said that Harry Potter is right wing, sexist, neo-conservatist and gives a degrading idea of women. What do you think about this?
"These things really upsets me. Whoever wrote these words can only be an idiot. Harry Potter has helped change loads of stereotypes. Where else, in fiction, can you find a character as clever as Hermione, who is an absolute feminist and won't accept to be second to none? Gosh! It's true that they're children books, but they cover most important subjects, like life, death, politics, the importance of friendship and the choices that need to be made. Harry Potter really makes children think, it's not just like any other production for teenagers."
What do you mean with politics being an important subject of the story?
"This film is closely related to the current situation. Somehow it talks about life after 7 July, the way people behave when they're scared, the way truth is often denied and all the things our society has to face. Facing the fact that the authority is corrupted means having a non-conformist approach to reality and power."
You are as brilliant as Hermione.In this film, is she the same good student she has always been?
Yes, but some things change this time: Hermione takes a stand against professor Umbridge, who is attempting to prevent student from learning and understanding. Hermione, who is so clever and willing to learn, can't accept this, and becomes the leader of the rebellion. Which is quite strange indeed, considering how she's always been against rule-breaking and everything. In this film she learns to see things from different perspectives."
What do you think are you going to do in 2010, when the Harry Potter saga is over and you're twenty? Are you also planning to take part in other projects in the meantime, like Radcliffe and Grint did? "I won't be appearing naked on stage with a horse, if that's what you mean. But I'm certainly doing something. I'm just waiting for the right opportunity. I don't know what my life will be like when I'm twenty, but I know that I would like to go to the University and travel a lot."
Will you leave Oxford, where you live with your mother, for London? In England it is usual to go to live alone very early.
"I'm just seventeen. I would like to live in France for a while, to improve my French, and spend at least a couple of years travelling around the world. Then, when I'm about nineteen, I'll have to think seriously about my future: the University – I would like to study Philosophy or Literature – and a home."
French – why?
"Because I love France. Paris and Amsterdam are my favourite cities. I also like French cinema, I would love to work there. I actually like almost everything which is not English.
Do you get many job offers?"Only things I don't want to do. Most of them are roles for the typical American high school student, which is, to be honest, my worse nightmare. I know I've been lucky so far, but I just need another bit of luck in order not to make mistakes in this particular moment of my life. Auditions are really hard, and being rejected is always a bad experience. But I'll keep trying."
Who rejected you? For which film? And who got the role instead?
"I'm not sure if I can tell… [speaking to her assistants:] Can I tell? No. But it was just a couple of them, not many!"
Have you, like Hermione, ever been in conflict with the authority? At school, at home, with your agent…?
"There have been times when other people thought that they knew what was better for me, and that the better for me was not to think. But I'm not a rebel. I usually do what I'm told, if anything I try to negotiate. I'm ready to fight for my rights, but I don't think it is worth playing the role of the teenager who wants to rebel against the world. I don't like it. It is overused."
J.K. Rowling says that Hermione is the character she identifies with the most. She says that when she was young she was a pain in the neck just like Hermione is. Did you get this impression when you met her?
"J.K. Rowling gives the impression of a very amusing, genuine and incredibly down-to-earth woman. And these are very rare qualities."
Especially for somebody as wealthy as she is.
"That's not the first thing that comes to your mind when you're talking to her, really. We keep in contact via e-mail sometimes, and she's always very witty and modest – even when she talks about her everyday life."
Do you believe she's good enough to win the battle against other fantasy sagas, like Eragon and The Chronicles of Narnia, which are getting very popular these days?
"Harry Potter can be read at so many different levels, by children as well as by adults, it is absolutely universal. I don't think that Jo needs a more developed fantasy or culture than Christopher Paolini. The only thing that matters is touching people's lives. And she does."
In The Order Of The Phoenix Harry gives his first kiss to Cho Chang. What about Hermione and Ron?
"Now it is clear to everybody that it is not just friendship between them. Everybody except them, of course. It is so typical, girls tend to end up with those guys who most annoy them, who most get them angry, who most behave horribly. Ron acts exactly like this towards Hermione. But their relationship will develop somehow, sooner or later. They will become a couple, I'm sure. Ron amuses her, which is what Hermione needs. And she keeps him in line. A perfect couple."
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