With Disney’s Beauty and the Beast set to release just a few weeks from now, people can’t wait to see Emma Watson portray Belle in the live-action adaptation of the Academy Award-nominated animation. Many fans were also surprised to find out that Watson could sing and recorded her own songs for the movie.
Here are ten other things you may not have known about feminist and actress Emma Watson:
1. She’s a certified yoga and meditation teacher. Watson revealed in an interview with Wonderland that even though she is known for brain, she also wanted to pursue her artistic side through painting, and even becoming a yoga intructor. A few months later, while promoting the film Noah, she revealed to ELLE Australia that she finished training and yoga helped her find grounding even when she was jetsetting between New York, Los Angeles, and the UK.
“I was like, ‘I need to find a way to always feel safe and at home within myself.’ Because I can never rely on a physical place,” she said.
2. She was appointed as United Nations Women’s Rights Ambassador in July 2014. One of her first major projects with the UN was to promote the HEforSHE campaign which encourgaged men around the world to stand with feminists and speak out against a culture of sexual violence and inequality.
3. She paid for a subscription to an expensive sexual pleasure site as part of her research as a women’s rights advocate — Most people view porn as an industry that exploits women. But Watson revealed on an on-stage interview with Gloria Steinem that the site she signed up with, OMGyes.com, uses scientific research on female pleasure to deliver sexually explicit material that does not objectify women.
“I wish it had been around longer. Definitely check it out,” she told Steinem.
4. Shortly after she wrapped up filming for the final Harry Potter movie, she cut her hair to a short pixie cut. Many speculated that she did it to change her image or even to vie for the role as Lisbeth Salander in the movie The Girl With The Dragon Tattoo. The truth was she did it to reclaim the part of her childhood and teenage years when she could not experiment with style and crazy haircuts because she was tied to the Harry Potter franchise.
“I’ve wanted to do this since I was about 16, so as soon as I had the chance I was like, ‘Right. This is it,” she told Entertainment Weekly in 2010.
5. Her auditon for the role that made her famous, Hermione Granger, was her first audition ever — And she had to do it eight times! But they could have saved a lot of time if they just listened to Harry Potter author, JK Rowling, who saw from the very start that Emma was the girl who could bring Hermione to life.
6. But don’t think that she’s just a goody-two-shoes straight A student! Emma has a bit of a bad streak in her too. She confessed that she had a crush on Tom Felton, who played Draco Malfoy, while they were filming the Harry Potter movie series because he was “a little bit older, a bit of a bad boy, and had a skateboard.” She has also shared in interviews that if she could escape from the life of a celebrity, she would get into a mosh pit at a rock concert and dance the night away.
7. She must really love dancing – at her highschool, she was on the dance team AND the field hockey team!
8. Like many successful people, Emma keeps a journal and writes in it every night before going to sleep.
9. Introverts, rejoice! Emma Watson needs her hamster ball too! According to an interview with ELLE Canada, she said she needs time away from people once in a while.
“I’m the kind of person who needs 24 hours where I don’t see another living thing,” she said.
10. Just like her character Belle, Watson loves to read. And she wants others to start a reading habit too. She revealed that she’s a book fairy on the London Tube, leaving books in random passengers for others to pick up and read. She also started Our Shared Shelf, which is a book club she shares with her fans, and keeps track of all the books she reads on Goodreads.
Watch Beauty and The Beast when it comes out in theatres on March 17. In the meantime, check out this theatrical trailer which shows how in casting Emma Watson, Disney endeavored to create a heroine for the 21st century.