Famous people are different from us normal people in about a million ways, but one of the biggest ones is that strangers are almost always taking their picture. The last time I caught a stranger trying to take a picture of me, it was because I had taken the bread off my Egg McMuffin and replaced it with two hashbrowns, and I guess they just wanted a picture to remember that genius move for their next breakfast (at least that’s what I’ve convinced myself). But famous people just have to be famous for a stranger to approach them for a picture. And if you’ve ever wanted a selfie with Emma Watson, you’re not going to get one, because she doesn’t participate in that anymore.
During a recent interview with Vanity Fair to promote Beauty and the Beast, Emma says that she doesn’t say no to all selfies – she will gladly take a picture with kids. But she doesn’t take pictures with adults and it all comes down to privacy.
She recently found the courage to say no to selfie-seekers. “For me, it’s the difference between being able to have a life and not. If someone takes a photograph of me and posts it, within two seconds they’ve created a marker of exactly where I am within 10 meters. They can see what I’m wearing and who I’m with. I just can’t give that tracking data.”
Sometimes, she’ll decline a photo but offer up an autograph or even a chat. “I’ll say, ‘I will sit here and answer every single Harry Potter fandom question you have but I just can’t do a picture'” – and much of the time people don’t bother. “I have to carefully pick and choose my moment to interact. When am I a celebrity sighting versus when am I going to make someone’s freakin’ week? Children I don’t say no to, for example.”
Emma’s fear of people invading her personal space goes well beyond selfies. She also talks about being stalked by students while at Brown and the paparazzi trying to get upskirts of her on her 18th birthday. She says she bought her house sight-unseen solely because it had a pap-proof entrance.
People aren’t going to stop asking her for selfies, so I think a good compromise would be for Emma to send out her assistant about 10 minutes before she goes out in public with that busted Belle doll from JCPenney. Everyone gets 10 minutes to take a selfie with the doll, and then they have to scram. Nobody bothers Emma, and all those fans get the kind of selfie worth bragging about to their friends. That doll doesn’t appear to exist anymore, so that’s a super-rare selfie opportunity.
Pic: Tim Walker/Vanity Fair