You might think [movieperson id="264730"]Emma Watson[/movieperson] has already lived a fairy-tale life, what with starring since age 11 in the mega-successful “Harry Potter” films. But it took her performance in the upcoming film “The Tale of Despereaux” to make her a princess.
The 18-year-old actress lends her voice to the charming animated tale (based on a best-selling children’s book) of a courageous mouse (Matthew Broderick) who saves a princess in the most desperate of times. MTV News caught up with Watson to chat about venturing into non-”Potter” acting, why she might be moving to the United States, and whether she’d ever take it all off for a role as her friend Daniel Radcliffe did.
MTV: Apparently, you only work on films based on beloved books.
Emma Watson: [Laughs.] There is a bit of a pattern, isn’t there? Who knows what’s next?
MTV: Was this project a no-brainer for you to sign on to?
Watson: I read the script, and I just loved it. It was so charming. I fell in love with Despereaux, so I really didn’t have a choice. I had to be his princess.
MTV: I would imagine all the green-screen work you’ve done in the “Harry Potter” films helped you with this one.
Watson: Completely. The key in working on an animated film is, you have to be incredibly imaginative.
MTV: You recorded your scenes opposite a veteran voice actor in Matthew Broderick. He was in “The Lion King,” after all!
Watson: Was he in “The Lion King”? Who was he?
MTV: He was Simba.
Watson: No way! I did not realize that! I knew he was amazing anyway, but I did not realize he did “The Lion King.” That is awesome. I have a whole newfound respect. I’m now even more in love with him.
MTV: Do you see a lot of differences between Hermione and Princess Pea?
Watson: Hermione is a real tomboy. Princess Pea is very graceful, and she’s more subtle. She’s much more girly. I just felt really sorry for her. She’s very alone.
MTV: I have a few questions about those other films you’re sometimes associated with.
Watson: [Laughs.] Oh, those ones no one’s heard of?
MTV: Have you seen “Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince” yet?
Watson: No! I’m dying over here. I literally can’t wait any longer. I think I’ll get to see it in January.
MTV: What’s next for you?
Watson: I’m attached to a film called “Napoleon and Betsy,” which will hopefully get shot in 2010. I’ve got the colossal final book ["Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows"] to finish off, and I’m going to university in September. I’m looking at scripts and auditioning. I’m very excited to do roles beyond “Potter.” It’s a very exciting time for me.
MTV: Where are you going to school?
Watson: I may stay in the U.K., but I’m also looking at universities in the States, on the East Coast probably. I’ve applied already to some schools over there.
MTV: What kind of roles are you looking for after “Harry Potter” is done?
Watson: I want when people look back on my career for them to not be able to put me in a box and say, “She always played this kind of role.” I want to do everything. I would love to be in a musical. I want to sing. I want to do a crazy Baz Luhrmann “Moulin Rouge!” sort of thing. I’d love to do a period piece. I’d love to do a French film. There are so many options out there!
MTV: What about theater? Would you ever take it all off onstage as Daniel Radcliffe’s been doing in “Equus” ?
Watson: I think Dan is incredibly brave. I would be completely terrified!
Check out everything we’ve got on “The Tale of Despereaux.”
For breaking news, celebrity columns, humor and more — updated around the clock — visit MTVMoviesBlog.com.