Emma Watson, who played the bookish genius Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series, is a role model to a lot of people especially after she became the United Nations ambassadress for gender equality.
However, Watson said that she will not be who she is today if not for her mother, who taught her that good deeds are far more important than her looks. When asked who her role model is, she answered: "The obvious choice is my mum, she was a single mother and a type one diabetic, so to see her strength and resilience was really inspiring growing up."
Though it's hard to believe, Watson remembers struggling with insecurity during her teenage years, but her mother kept reminding her that what she is thinking, doing, and saying are far more important than her physical appearance, and the actress took her words to heart.
"She really encouraged me to be an individual. I remember her being thrilled when I got my first detention because she was really worried I was going to be a bit strait-laced," Watson laughingly shared.
The actress also said that women tend to criticize more than the men. And based on her personal experience, Watson said that some of the harshest moments and criticisms she received actually came from other women.
"It's not enough to ask men to come and support us. We really need to support each other, we really do. So, I guess I would say be brave enough to acknowledge that things are not there yet and support each other," she said.
This is why she is passionate about supporting the He For She campaign. Watson lamented that current society devalues the women compared to men. There is an imbalance, she said, and the distortion is hindering progress, causing discord, violence and fear all over the world.
Watson agreed that it's uncomfortable and awkward to acknowledge that there is a problem, but it is important for people to understand it.
In fact, when someone asked Watson if she was paid less than her male co-stars in the Harry Potter films, she answered: "I wouldn't dream of complaining about my financial circumstances, but yes, it is a big problem in my industry, it is a huge problem that needs to be addressed."
The young actress said that femininity needs to be embraced wherever it is because it is being valued less by society.