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Emma Watson hasn't starred in a movie since 2019's Little Women, but she hasn't retired from acting.
"I don't see myself as having stepped away from acting," Watson, 33, told British Vogue in an interview published on Thursday, January 25. "I just see myself as wanting to expand what I do and being able to be in things that I have written or directed or produced."
She explained that writing and directing "has been really amazing," and she started exploring the professions when she was at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. "I just realized how much I loved it and that I wanted to keep doing that," she added. "And so I actually study now as well."
Watson made her directorial debut in 2022 with a short film that served as an ad campaign for the Prada Paradoxe fragrance. The next step is starring in something she has written.
"To direct something that I'd written one day, that would make me pretty excited," she told British Vogue.
However, she doesn't expect to return to the silver screen right away. "To really be at the start of a project takes time," she emphasized. "Films can be decades in the making, finding it and writing it and putting it together. I don't see it as a closing down. I see it as an opening up."
In the meantime, Watson has focused on launching a gin, called Renais, with brother Alex Watson, as well as her activism for gender equality and sustainability.
Watson previously opened up about about how she "felt a bit caged" when she took a break from acting in 2019. "I wasn’t very happy, if I’m being honest,” she told the Financial Times in April 2023.
“The thing I found really hard was that I had to go out and sell something that I really didn’t have very much control over,” she said. “To stand in front of a film and have every journalist be able to say, ‘How does this align with your viewpoint?’ It was very difficult to have to be the face and the spokesperson for things where I didn’t get to be involved in the process.”
She elaborated, “I love what I do. It’s finding a way to do it where I don’t have to fracture myself into different faces and people. And I just don’t want to switch into robot mode anymore. Does that make sense?”
One of the biggest projects she chose to participate in was Max’s Harry Potter 20th Anniversary: Return to Hogwarts. The 2022 special reunited Watson with her Potter castmates including Daniel Radcliffe, Rupert Grint and Tom Felton. However, she and Felton, 33, have made it clear that they've kept in touch over the years.
She penned the foreward for Felton's October 2022 memoir, Beyond the Wand: The Magic and Mayhem of Growing Up a Wizard. "For more than 20 years now we've loved each other in a special way, and I've lost count of the times that people have said to me, 'You must have drunkenly made out, just once!' 'You must have kissed!' 'There must be something!'" Watson wrote. "But what we have is far deeper than that. It's one of the purest loves I can think of."
Watson concluded the intro by calling her former costar a "little piece of my soul."