At Cannes, Watson revels in post-'Potter' freedom
Actor Emma Watson poses for photographers during a photo call for the film The Bling Ring at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
CANNES, France (AP) — Emma Watson is reveling in her post-"Potter" freedom at the Cannes Film Festival, relishing a Valley Girl role far from her wise-beyond-her-years Hermione.
The 23-year-old "Harry Potter" actress stars in Sofia Coppola's "The Bling Ring," which premiered Thursday at the French Riviera festival. The British actress plays a celebrity-obsessed, thickly accented Los Angeles teenager who, with a group of friends, burgles Hollywood stars such as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.
At Cannes, Watson told reporters that while she remains proud of her work on the "Potter" films, they now feel long ago.
"I'm not trying to run away from it," she said. "I've just had an amazing three or four years. I'm really re-enjoying having the chance to transform into new roles and work with new creative people."
Actress Emma Watson poses for photographers during a photo call for the film The Bling Ring at the 66th international film festival, in Cannes, southern France, Thursday, May 16, 2013. (AP Photo/Francois Mori)
"The Bling Ring" is based on a Vanity Fair article about the true story of teenagers who robbed celebrities like Paris Hilton and Orlando Bloom while they were out at premieres and other events. The character Watson plays, Nicki, is modeled on Alexis Neiers, who starred in the reality series "Pretty Wild."
Watson said she watched American TV shows like "The Hills," ''Keeping up With the Kardashians" and "The World According to Paris" to prepare for the role.
"It'd be very easy for Nicki to feel like a parody," Watson said. "Somehow I had to understand and empathize with her and that was really biggest challenge, second to getting the accent down. It's quite a specific dialect."