Emma Watson, TIME 100 Gala

Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for TIME

Emma Watson is ready to take a break from Hollywood to focus her attention on other passions in her life.

The 25-year-old brilliant actress sat down with activist bell hooks—author of Feminism Is for Everybody—and opened up in an interview for Paper magazine about her plans to step away from the acting world for a year.

As you may have guessed, Watson is determined to take that time to further her knowledge on feminism—a topic she's been very vocal about her the last several years—and help others do the same.

Emma Watson, bell hooks, Paper Magazine


"I'm taking a year away from acting to focus on two things, really," the former Harry Potter star tells hooks. "My own personal development is one...My own personal task is to read a book a week, and also to read a book a month as part of my book club."

The book club she references is called "Our Shared Shelf," a feminist group she connected through Twitter.

"I'm doing a huge amount of reading and study just on my own," she adds. "I almost thought about going and doing a year of gender studies, then I realized that I was learning so much by being on the ground and just speaking with people and doing my reading...I actually wanted to keep on the path that I'm on. I'm reading a lot this year, and I want to do a lot of listening."

Emma Watson


Thus, Watson has organized several projects with her HeForShe initiative, which she launched as a UN goodwill ambassador to engage men in the fight for gender equality. Not only is she planning a HeForShe arts week and a university tour, but she's also launching a website for the initiative.

While this may seem like a lot for someone with so much on her plate already, Watson explains that it's been incredibly helpful in her personal growth as a self-loving, confident woman.

"I'm on my journey with this and it might change, but I can tell you that what is really liberating and empowering me through being involved in feminism is that for me the biggest liberation has been that so much of the self-critiquing is gone," she admits. "Engaging with feminism, there is this kind of bubble now that goes off in my head where these really negative thoughts about myself hit where I'm able to combat them in a very rational and quick way."

And that is exactly what she hopes to give other women the power to do as well.

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