Emma Watson at “Perks” Press Conference
Oct 01, 2012
Posted by Catherine
Emma Watson answered many question at a Perks of Being a Wallflower press conference; stating how she got a hold of the script, received the role of Sam, and became the character. The Fan Carpet reports:
Is there a real Sam? Did you meet her?
There is a real Sam, I didn’t meet her, but she is a real person.
It’s a coming of age film and you’ve had a coming of age in the public eye, how did that inform your performance as Sam?
I don’t know how being in the public eye would’ve helped me with Sam, it was quite the opposite really; the life that I had outside of the public eye which helped me with Sam, and I did try my best to live my adolescence behind closed doors as far as I possibly could.
I think I managed that pretty well; I went back to school between filming, I sat my GCSE’s, I sat my A-Level’s, I went to University, so it’s really those experiences that informed her.
You’ve had the privilege of being educated both here and America, what are the mayor differences? In America they seem to pile pressure on their children at a younger age, is that what you found?
Actually, I would’ve said the opposite, in America you have four years to complete your degree, here we have three, although we encourage a gab year. But the biggest difference I would say is that with an American education encourages you to broaden yourself out and concentrate later on, where as here we are encouraged to make decisions about our career early on, so even as early as GCSE’s in this country and you wanted to go into Medicine or whatever else, you need to choose to take Chemistry or Biology or whatever else.
Where as in America I was able to take four subjects a semester and they could be whatever choice I wanted, as long as I formed some concentration out of them. So I’m majoring in English Literature, but I’ve taken classes in Psychology, History and Art and French and all sorts, I think that was one of the appeals for me; I knew my course wouldn’t be a vocational course, I knew I wasn’t going to study Law, but that I wanted to know about as many different things as I possible could because I was interested.
Is it true you told your agent not to send you scripts?
I did, I did, but somehow Perks made it under the door, she said ‘I really think you should read this one’ and I had been reading things, but Perks was the first one to really light a fire under me. I was like ‘Oh, I think it could be really important to make this film, this could really make a difference to a young person watching it.’
It felt quite special somehow.
What was it? The story? The character? The subject matter?
It’s true, I think there’s so much made about this period in people’s lives; when you come of age or when you’re in high school, there’s so many teenage TV series and movies and whatever else that people would be sick of hearing about this one felt to me really honest and authentic, and it didn’t glamourise the situation, it didn’t patronise it or sensationalise it.
It was amazing, I’d look at Steve and go ‘you remember so clearly what it was like to be this age, it’s kind of amazing’. And just the honestly, and that it isn’t afraid to touch on subjects that are difficult, I think that was one of the difficultties in getting the film made, was that the film deals with things that people would rather not talk about, almost like taboo subjects.
It’s one of the most banned books in America, many State libraries will not stock this book, so that was fascinating to me because I had the privilege of having a background where I had a much more open minded and accepting background, that was a real shock and it was a shock that no one wanted to make it. I had to sort of bang on people’s doors to get it made, so it’s interesting.
The rest of the article can be read here.