Harry Potter

Hermione is happy to be back at Hogwarts - until she finds out about the dangers lurking everywhere!
Nigel Parry/2002 Warner Bros.
As Hermione, Emma Watson has the tough job of playing the stuck-up, perfect student. In real life, however, Emma is much more laid back than her big-screen counterpart. We chatted with Emma about her role as Hermione, what it was like working with animals, and Hagrid's Macarena dancing.

Q: What has changed in your life since the first Harry Potter movie came out?
Most of the change happened during the first film. I occasionally get recognized. I think everyone's been a bit more enjoyable on the second film, because they know the people and they know what they're doing.

Q: What is different about Hermione in the second film?
I think all of the characters have matured. Hermione has become a bit more laid back and she's not so mothering to Harry and Ron. She finally has a different hairstyle, which is nice.

Q: What was it like working with the animals on set?
I really love animals and enjoy working with them. It can be quite hard. It's very hard to tell a dog, "Do it again, you weren't sitting in the right position." You have to be quite patient because Fang drools everywhere. It takes ages to get off your robes, and Hedwig flies in the wrong direction. Most of the time they get it right, which is absolutely amazing! Their trainers must have the hardest job ever.

Q: What was it like to work with Kenneth Branagh, who plays Gilderoy Lockhart?
He is the nicest guy. He is absolutely fantastic. He's really down to earth, really friendly, and he has a great sense of humor. I really liked working with him. He's a fantastic actor as well. There's such a presence about him.

Q: Would you share any funny stories that happened on the set?
[There were] 300 extras in the same room for one whole week. Everyone is dying of boredom and they need to be laughing; Robbie Coltrane [Hagrid] had to stand up on the tables and dance. They did the Macarena and the cancan, and it worked! It was the highlight of the whole filming! I never laughed so much in my life!

Q: What was the most difficult scene to shoot?
Professor Sprout's class was pretty hard. There are so many scenes where I literally couldn't say my lines. Hermione gets such mouthfuls, it's like a tongue twister in each paragraph. She talks like a dictionary. She is a dictionary.

Q: Do you think the movies do a good job re-creating the books?
: I think it's really, really important to stay truthful to the books because they're fantastic books. Chris [Columbus] is working really close with J.K. Rowling, and I think that's what makes the films so great—the fact that we work with the author who has all of the images and inspirations in her head.

Q: Why do you think it's important to read?
It's important to read because it's really good for your [vocabulary]. It's really good for your imagination. I enjoy reading because I find it relaxing.