At only 22, she’s starred in eight Harry Potter films, become a Front Row regular at Fashion Week and become a certified global star. Her latest role is Sam in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, a funny, sad and beautiful coming-of-age tale based directed by Stephen Chbosky and based on his own novel of the same name. Logan Lerman stars as Charlie, a struggling student who befriends a bunch of loveable misfits. He falls for Sam, who has a few issues of her own to deal with. Mere days before the release of Perks, Emma Watson talks about the role, growing up in the limelight and the truth about those 50 Shades of Grey rumours…
Did growing up in the public eye help shape your performance as Sam?
Actually, it was the opposite - it was the life that I had out of the public eye which helped inform Sam. I tried my best to live my adolescence behind closed doors as far as I possibly could. And I think I managed to do that – I went back to school in between filming, I sat my GCSEs, I sat my A-Levels, I went to university. So it’s really those experiences that helped me. It made me very aware that my life has been unusual. I’d almost say that my life has been done backwards. There are certain parts which are happening at different times, and at different orders. And at times that’s felt lonely, but generally I just feel privileged to have so much, and so many different experiences.
What is your favourite scene to watch back?
The scene that I loved reading when I read the script was the scene where Sam wants to give Charlie the perfect first kiss. Because her first kiss kind of sucked. And a lot of people’s first kisses aren’t always great – it’s not always how you pictured things. And I just thought that it was so beautiful that she wanted to make sure that it was perfect, and that really touched me. So I was proud of that scene in general.
Music plays a big part of the film, there’s a lot of music on set. What sort of music do you like?
Well, one of the first things Stephen did when we met me was give me a mix-tape that he’d made with a lot of 80s music like the Smiths as the film is set in the 80s. And then throughout the movie Ezra (Miller, who plays Patrick), Logan and I made this little band. We even had a name – Octopus Jam! I sing, Ezra sings and plays the drums, and Logan plays the piano. He’s a classical composer, he actually composed a piece of music for his part in Perks. So he was more classical, and then Ezra was more rock’n’roll. And then I was somewhere in the middle, just sort of doing my own thing really.
Is there any truth in your being considered as Ana in 50 Shades of Grey?
I don’t know how many times I have to reiterate, I am not attached to it. I don’t know why this keeps coming up over and over again. It’s flattering in the sense that people are excited about what I’m going to do in the future, but I just don’t know where this thing has come from. I haven’t read the book, I haven’t been sent a script, I haven’t been approached.
The Perks of Being a Wallflower is released on 3 October
By Stephanie Soh and Scarlett Russell