ByAlisha Grauso, writer at
Editor-at-large here at Movie Pilot. Nerd out with me on Twitter, comrades: @alishagrauso
Alisha Grauso

Of the three main child stars of the Harry Potter franchise, actress was always the one most uncomfortable in the spotlight. had always been destined for the stage and screen, and co-lead continually worked on projects even between filming Harry Potter sequels, but it seemed there was a new story every few years about Watson being hesitant to renew her contract and return for another movie about The Boy Who Lived. When she was of age, she opted to step out of the acting world for a while to attend Brown University, finishing only the last few films of Harry Potter and a small part in My Week With Marilyn while deciding whether or not she wanted to pursue a future career in acting.

But with career-redefining turns in The Perks of Being a Wallflower, The Bling Ring, and This Is the End all within the past year, it's safe to say Watson has made her decision in favor of acting. EW recently had a chat with the versatile young actress about her decision to come back. As it turns out, those close to her were just as surprised:

I know! I think my agent was pretty surprised, too. [Laughs] I was really unsure, but then I read the script for 'The Perks of Being a Wallflower', and falling in love with that and then having such a great experience on that movie kind of sealed the deal for me. I stopped intellectualizing it, and it became much more instinctual. I just got the bug and got very driven all of a sudden, which I really wasn't before. But I'm so happy. It's all felt very new to me, really.

The majority of child stars never make successful transitions to serious adult careers, particularly if they've played an iconic character. Typecasting and being pigeonholed often follow them around, and the roles dry up. But Radcliffe, Grint, and Watson have managed to avoid that child star curse and have each forged solid careers in a post-Harry Potter world. That doesn't mean Watson didn't start to listen to the rumors she'd be typecast forever, though:

For a while I kind of bought into the hype of, 'Will they ever be able to play anything else?' It gave me a sense of paralysis and stage fright for a while. And then a professor told me that they didn't think I should act, either. So I was really grappling with it and wasn't feeling good about it. And then, I don't got so bad and people had put me in a box so much that it started pissing me off. I suddenly wanted to prove them wrong. It gave me fuel, in a way. I'm not sure why that shift happened.

That anger was fueled in part by the fact she had spent her entire life up to that point with people making decisions for her. As she grew into adulthood, it started to chafe:

That's exactly what it was. I wanted to make a conscious adult decision that this was what I wanted to pursue, because that decision was made for me as a nine-year-old. I had no idea what I wanted. I had no idea who I was really. So I wanted to step away and make sure this is what I wanted to pour my life and my energy and my blood, sweat, and tears into.

Glad to see Watson has decided not to leave acting, as she has quite a bit of natural talent and an ability to be a chameleon in her roles in a way not many young actresses can. She's made some savvy career choices post-Harry Potter, too, showing she has good instincts for picking quality films.

She can next be seen in 's upcoming Biblical epic, Noah.

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