Emma Watson’s post-Potter career continues to bloom, with her latest role – as fashion-obsessed celebrity burglar Nicki in Sofia Coppola’s crime drama The Bling Ring ( read our reaction here ) – getting plenty of plaudits from the punters of the film’s official premiere in Cannes last night.
Total Film caught up with Watson this afternoon in the Croisette’s swanky Carlton hotel, where she told us all about the attraction of taking on a role that’s worlds apart from Hermione Grainger…
“It’s so topical, it’s so present – it’s holding up a mirror really,” Watson explained of the film, which tells the (true) story of a group of high-schoolers who use the internet to find and break into the homes of celebs like Paris Hilton and Megan Fox, before posing with their swag on Facebook.
“I think what I liked about [ Nicki ] is that she’s utterly tragic and very comedic all at the same time. The comedy was easy because the lines are written and they’re hilarious, but I wanted there to be a palpable sense of sadness and loneliness about her as well.”
“I realised very quickly that my biggest challenge was somehow making this surreal, delusional, eccentric character real in some way, because she’s larger than life and also at times very unsympathetic,” she continued. “It was all about somehow trying to get the audience to identify with her, even if it’s just for a second. I talked to Sofia about it for hours and just really tried to figure out how to understand her.”
“I liked that she has this kind of sweet face, which is interesting to play a bad girl,” added Coppola of casting Watson as a bitchy, OMG-a-minute teen. “She seemed to play a character that was so different from herself and she had a serious approach to something that could easily have become a cartoon.”
We also quizzed Watson on her upcoming old-testament epic Noah (in which she plays the hero’s adopted daughter), which sees her teaming up onscreen with the likes of Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins for director Darren Aronofsky.
“It was pretty grueling,” she explained of the shoot. “I had to be really vulnerable in a way that I’ve sort of touched on but never really gone all the way there, and also just physically, the hours we were shooting… The scale of it… I mean, it’s biblical, you know – the world’s ending!”