London: Harry Potter star Emma Watson has revealed that she nearly quit the film series at the age of 16 because she felt trapped by the ‘horrible’ filming schedule.
The 20-year-old, now studying at Brown University in New England, was locked into a contract when cast in the first film, ‘Harry Potter And The Philosopher’s Stone’, aged nine.
But her deal with Warner Brothers came up for renewal while she was shooting the fifth film, ‘The Order Of The Phoenix’, in 2006.
However, Emma said she felt unsure that she wanted to continue being controlled by a plot in which she had to go on looking and behaving like an old-fashioned schoolgirl.
When she eventually agreed to sign up for another five years, it was ‘agonising’, she said.
“I love to make people laugh and I love being creative, but there are so many other things I love doing too,” the Daily Mail quoted her as saying.
“I have such a structure when I’m working on Potter. I get told what time I get picked up.
“I get told what time I can eat, when I have time to go to the bathroom. Every single second of my day is not in my power,” she said.
Emma said she reached a low point while shooting ‘Deathly Hallows: Part 1’.
The film involved arduous outdoor scenes in which, she said, she, Daniel and Rupert were cold and wet for months on end.
“I hate to sound whiny but it’s horrible,” Emma told a magazine.
“This has definitely been the most intense, gruelling period of film-making I’ve ever done,” she said.
Emma recently completed her first year at Brown and said that despite the success and financial security the Potter work brought her – including a spell as a model for Burberry – she is delighted the series is over.
Her first months at university were ‘so liberating’, she said.
‘I’d be smiling to myself and friends would say, “Emma, what’s wrong?” and I’d say, “I’m just happy,” she said.
“I take pleasure in the smallest things. Like “I’m going to wake up at 10 o’clock if I want to” or “I’m going to eat a sandwich now,” she added.