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Emma Watson on Making Time for Fashion — and More Movies

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Mario Testino for VOGUE

Finding her niche outside of Harry Potter has been Emma Watson‘s most challenging role to date. “I have lived in a complete bubble,” she admits in the July issue of
. “And now I’m desperately trying to find my way through it.” A stint as an Ivy Leaguer, seeking refuge in the arts (“I love it and have a need to do it,” she says of painting) and side projects have helped define her off-screen character. “I was Warner Bros.’ pain in the butt. I was their scheduling conflict,” she says of mandating time for extracurricular fashion projects, including designing three collections for People Tree. “I was doing twelve-hour days on Harry Potter and then coming home to work for two more hours, sizing and cutting designs.” But her time on set inspired her, too; she grew close to makeup head Amanda Knight, and would spend hours experimenting with cosmetics in the makeup trailer. “That was my playground,” she says. “I would sit and play with lipsticks, foundations and eye shadows; and every now and then Amanda would let me do the extras’ face paint for the Quidditch matches.” Perhaps not-so-coincidentally, she’s now the face of Lancôme, too. But despite her busy off-set schedule, Watson is still finding time for new projects. She recently shot My Week with Marilyn and landed the role of Sam in The Perks of Being a Wall Flower. “Sam is such a different girl than who I am,” she says. “Hermione is so close to who I am as a person that I’ve never really had to research a role. I’m literally rediscovering what it means to be an actress.” –Justine Harman

Emma Watson in Vogue
Mario Testino for VOGUE