As a child actress in one of the biggest film franchises of all time, Emma Watson's name and face quickly gained lasting worldwide recognition and popularity. In the time since the final Harry Potter film though, she's become even more famous for her advocacy of gender equality. Most notably, she gave a rousing speech at the United Nations in 2014 and subsequently launched a campaign called HeForShe, which calls for both sexes to eradicate stigmas against feminism and fight for equality together.
Clearly Hollywood fame has never gone to her head, and now she's taking a one-year break from acting altogether to focus on two important things: her own personal growth and HeForShe.
In an interview for Paper magazine, Watson explained, "I'm taking a year away from acting to focus on two things, really. My own personal development is one ... I almost thought about going and doing a year of gender studies, then I realized that I was learning so much by being on the ground and just speaking with people and doing my reading. That I was learning so much on my own. I actually wanted to keep on the path that I'm on. I'm reading a lot this year, and I want to do a lot of listening."
As for HeForShe, the actress-activist said, "We are organizing a HeForShe arts week, a university tour, and launching the HeForShe website. It's a lot. There's a lot to do."
So not only does she have the initiative to self-educate by reading nonstop, but also the ability to withstand the natural draw of fame, fortune, and excess that so many actors lose themselves in. Perhaps not everyone is onboard with her view of feminism, but the more Watson conducts herself with the kind of patience and willingness to learn as she does, the stronger her voice will become. And it's pretty strong as is.
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