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Emma Watson: 'I was Contractually Obliged Not to Cut My Hair'

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Mario Testino for Vogue

Much was made of Emma Watson‘s elfin haircut this summer, when the actress boldly chopped off her wavy auburn locks. But despite speculation that the dramatic new style was for a movie role, the British beauty tells the U.K. edition of Vogue that it was really a mark of her new freedom. For nearly a decade, her appearance was very much ‘Hermione Granger,’ but now, with the Harry Potter series all filmed and Deathly Hallows Part I due out November 19, she can be herself. “I was contractually obliged not to cut my hair, not to tan,” she tells Vogue in its December issue. “All the normal things girls do, I couldn’t. So when I got the chance to change my appearance, this [gesturing to her hair] is what I did.” And, despite being a fashion icon today, she says she didn’t have a stylist on tap during her time as one of the world’s most-watched characters. “Sometimes I had two days’ notice before an event and there was nothing appropriate [in my wardrobe] for a 14-year-old to wear,” she tells Vogue. “It was either borrow from my stepmother, or go to the bridesmaid department at Harrods.” Something that surely didn’t come from that department is an enduring reminder of the role that’s made her a household name (and a very rich young woman): a 1957 Rolex. It was a gift from the Potter producers and came with the dates of her movies engraved on the back. “They said it suited me,” the 20-year-old says. “I love it.” See the full interview in the Star issue of British Vogue, on newsstands Thursday, or on the iPad app with behind the scenes film.–Simon Perry

Mario Testino for Vogue