Emma Watson Recalls Maggie Smith's Advice On Acting

Jason Scott
March 26, 2014

Emma Watson took some time out of her hectic schedule to stop by the Late Show With David Letterman to promote the upcoming film Noah, which hits nationwide theaters March 28. Even though she reached fame through her roles in the Harry Potter series, the actress admits that it is still tough for her to watch herself onscreen.

"In the early 'Harry Potter' films, I'd get very nervous," she says, "and I'd kind of twist myself up like a pretzel. I'd bite my nails and everything."

She adds, "Then, I'm pretty sure it was Maggie Smith who said this to me. This is ten years ago now, so sometimes I struggle remembering, but she basically said, 'how do you expect to get better if you don't watch your performances?' She kind of told me to get a grip."

"It's tough. You get embarrassed," she says.

As previously reported, Watson speaks out about growing up in the spotlight as Elle magazine's April cover girl. Within the issue's pages, the star discusses her jealousy: “There are all these actresses who have emerged in the last year or two, and they get to emerge as this complete human being. And I’m so jealous!"

Ever the consummate professional, she goes on to relate another bit of career advice, saying, "I remember reading this thing that Elizabeth Taylor wrote. She had her first kiss in character. On a movie set," Watson shares. "It really struck me. I don’t know how or why, but I had this sense that if I wasn’t really careful, that could be me: that my first kiss could be in somebody else’s clothes. And my experiences could all belong to someone else.”

With her latest film endeavor about to be unveiled, she also describes the project as Shakespearean. She explains, "[It's about] what happens to this family when they’re put in this confined space for 40 days and 40 nights. It’s the end of the world—how these different human beings are dealing with the impact of that. Are humans good? Are we bad? All of these themes are epic.”

The film also stars Jennifer Connelly, Russell Crowe and Anthony Hopkins.

Watch the late-night interview:

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