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From the young age of nine, Emma Watson has had millions of people watching her every move. After she was cast as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies, she quickly became a household name. And while the Harry Potter mania has died down a lot since the final movie premiered a decade ago, Watson still can’t really leave the house without being recognized.

Emma Watson attends the Little Women premiere in a black dress
Emma Watson | Taylor Hill/WireImage

Despite how big of a celebrity Watson is, she still manages to lead a very private life. The Noah actor keeps her social media activity to a minimum and is known to be exceptionally tight-lipped about her romantic relationships. And while Watson knows that she’ll likely be spotted by fans whenever she leaves the house, she has boundaries in place that ensure her safety and sanity. One rule that Watson has had in place for years is that she doesn’t take pictures with fans.

Emma Watson explains why she won’t take selfies with fans

“For me, it’s the difference between being able to have a life and not,” Watson shared with Vanity Fair. about taking selfies with fans. “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.”

But just because Watson isn’t willing to take pictures doesn’t mean that she’s not happy to engage with fans in other ways. She’s been known to sign autographs on occasion or even answer questions that her fans may have about her various projects. “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.”

Privacy is a huge deal for the ‘Harry Potter’ alum

And there are even exceptions to Watson’s no pictures rule. The actor shared she’ll bend the rules for kids. “I have to carefully pick and choose my moment to interact,” she revealed. “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.”


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Not only is privacy important for Watson from a safety perspective, but she also believes that it serves her acting career also. In Watson’s mind, having a private identity makes it easier for fans to suspend their disbelief about who she is when she steps into different roles. Of course, fans aren’t the only ones from whom Watson needs privacy. The Ivy League graduate also needs privacy from the paparazzi who hound her constantly.

Watson once bought a house without ever seeing it in person

Watson is no stranger to the paparazzi, but she still does everything in her power to prevent them from stalking her. In fact, the actor once bought a house over a Skype call without ever seeing it in the flesh simply because it boasted a paparazzi-proof entrance. While many people wouldn’t have shelled out millions on a house they’d never seen, Watson is committed to having a life out of the spotlight and we can’t blame her for that. In the actor’s own words: “Privacy, for me, is not an abstract idea.”