Emma Watson says she left Brown because of fame, not bullies
Emma Watson, the "Harry Potter" star rumored to have been bullied out of Brown University, is finally addressing the real reason she ended her collegiate run: fame.
"I was in denial," Watson told Britain's Sunday Times' Style Magazine, explaining how the spotlight affected her decision to leave the Rhode Island university. "I wanted to pretend I wasn't as famous as I was. I was trying to seek out normality, but I kind of have to accept who I am, the position I'm in and what happened."
Last August, after wrapping filming on the eighth movie in the franchise, she famously opted for a pixie haircut to distance herself from her character Hermione Granger's long tresses.
In March, she announced she would be taking time off from Brown to complete her responsibilities on "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 2" and focus on "other professional and acting projects."
Rumors that the 21-year-old had been bullied out of the institution followed soon after, when a report said quip-slinging classmates had mocked her for her fictional bookworm persona.
"It made me so sad when all this stuff came out that I left Brown because I was being bullied," she said. "It made no sense at all. Brown has been the opposite."
At the time, her rep denied bullying caused the actress to leave Brown, and Watson now insists that her cohorts didn't even seem to care about her celebrity.
"I've never even been asked for an autograph on campus. I threw a party for nearly 100 students, and not a single person put a photo on Facebook," she said. "Anyway, even if I was being given a hard time, I wasn't going to wuss out of university because someone said 'Wingardium leviosa' to me in a corridor, or 'Ten points for Gryffindor.'
"I've been dealing with the media since I was 9. If I can't stand up to a few people giving me a hard time, it's a bit pathetic, really. I've had so much worse."
Watson was said to have arranged a transfer to another university to pursue a course of study not offered at Brown; however, her recent declaration implies that she may be taking a longer academic hiatus.
The face of Lancome, who took a break from filming "The Perks of Being a Wallflower" to present a clip from the ultimate chapter in the "Harry Potter" saga at the MTV Movie Awards on Sunday, added that her intimidating "fame wall" also made it harder to date.
But Watson isn't the only "Harry Potter" star trying to divorce her magical child-star persona. Franchise lead Daniel Radcliffe, who played the boy wizard for a decade, has also said he's ready to move on from Hogwarts and its magical realm. Read more about that here.
Was Watson wise to leave Brown? Are you sad to see her run as Hermione Granger end? Tell us in comments.
— Nardine Saad
Photos: Emma Watson, top, in character as Hermione Granger in "Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows — Part 1," and sporting an anti-Hermione pixie haircut, left, in November. Credits: Warner Bros. Pictures, top; Marcel Thomas / FilmMagic, left.