EMMA WATSON: I’m thrilled that you asked, because I didn’t want things to get weird. I’m in the bath. In Paris. I didn’t want you to hear swishing water and be like, “Uh, what are you doing?” I’m very relaxed. Where are you?
CHASTAIN: I am in a hotel room. There are bags of hair extensions and makeup and clothes everywhere.
WATSON: As long as there’s a clear line across the floor so that you can actually get into bed at night, you’re good.
CHASTAIN: Are you on vacation, or are you working?
WATSON: I’m working. I just did the photo shoot for this with Peter Lindbergh, who I know you’ve shot with. I love him so much. He’s the Ferrari of photographers — really thoughtful, engaged, and then boom boom boom. He is so quick. He does not mess around. During the day, I asked him, “What are your plans after this?” And he said, “I’m going to go do another meditation retreat.” I was like, “Of course you meditate! You’re like the Buddha. You’re, like, one of the happiest people I’ve ever met.”
CHASTAIN: Talk to me about your relationship to fashion and photo shoots. It must have been such a different experience for you when you started, because you were so young.
WATSON: Fashion is something that I love, and I find it to be so expressive and creative, and it’s obviously a way into my characters, so I’m always deeply engaged with it. What I find difficult about photo shoots is the line between playing a character — you’re being asked by the photographer to take on a role like you would in a movie — and being a fancier version of yourself. It’s about finding that line between being spontaneous and open to direction, but also trying to explain to photographers that the “me” is often taken out of context because it has all of this other stuff attached to it. The fact that I was a child star is difficult for most people to understand, and it can be really conflicting for me. Photographers want to reinvent you, to take you somewhere else, to show you in a completely different way. They look at your previous work, and try to figure out what they can do to show a new side of you.
CHASTAIN: I wonder if I have freedom in a way that maybe you might not. Because people grew up watching you become a woman, are you held to certain standards of having to be the same as you always were? Continue reading