Emma Watson Feels Like an Imposter, Not an Actress

Actress opens up to Vogue U.K. about acting and the #HeForShe campaign

By Zach Johnson Aug 03, 2015 6:20 PMTags
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Fake it 'til you make it!

Emma Watson exudes confidence onscreen, particularly as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter film franchise. Appearances can be deceiving as the 25-year-old movie star admits to Vogue U.K. she isn't always so sure of her acting abilities.

Asked whether acting comes naturally, Watson—who graduated from Brown University last year—isn't sure. "It's something I've really wrestled with. I've gone back and I've quizzed my parents. When I was younger, I just did it. I just acted. It was just there. So now when I receive recognition for my acting, I feel incredibly uncomfortable. I tend to turn in on myself," she admits. "I feel like an imposter."

In hindsight, she says, "It was just something I did."

By contrast, Watson is steadfast in regard to her views on gender equality.

Last year, she launched the #HeForShe movement during a U.N. address.

The night before she gave her speech in New York City in September 2014, Watson tells the magazine, "I was in my hotel room, thinking, 'I can't do this.' I was just terrified." To calm her nerves and get a fresh perspective, she reached out to a friend via Skype, who told her, "'Go through it again and ask yourself, if you were hit by a bus tomorrow, would you be comfortable with every single line?'"

Watson touched upon such anxieties during her speech.

"In my nervousness for this speech and my moments of doubt, I've told myself firmly, 'If not me, who? If not now, when?' If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you, I hope that those words will be helpful because the reality is, if we do nothing, it will take 75 years or for me, to be nearly 100, before women can expect to be paid the same as men for the same work—15.5 million girls will be married in the next 16 years as children and at current rates, it won't be until 2086 before all rural African girls can have a secondary education."

Since becoming a Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, "Part of me relaxed after I took on that position; it gave me a sense of belonging and purpose," she explains.

"Everything clicked in to place, in a way that it hadn't before.  understood what I'm here to do and knew where to channel all this energy that has been coming at me. I now feel this sense of peace," she says. "People say that I'm different since I did it."