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Why Emma Watson is taking a year-long break from acting

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Léonie Chao-Fong
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Emma Watson has announced she is planning on taking a year off from her acting career.

The Harry Potter actress revealed she's taking a sabbatical to work on her "own personal development" and focus on her position as UN Woman Goodwill Ambassador.

Speaking to American feminist and writer bell hooks in an interview in Paper magazine, the 25-year-old says she wants to spend the year studying feminist literature and dedicating herself to activism and self-growth. 

"I'm reading so much and exposing myself to so many new ideas," she says. "It feels as if sometimes I'm struggling to keep up with myself." 

"It's a really cool period of time for me," she adds.

Emma Watson UN speech

Watson speaking at the HeForShe campaign at the United Nations in September 2014

In addition to setting her own reading challenge - she plans to read a book a week and a book a month as part of her feminist book club - Watson will also be focusing on her UN campaign, HeForShe.

In response to hook's comment that many people are "very cynical about celebrity activism", the actress admits  "I feel like I have to overcompensate at times."

"When I was talking to my mum about going and doing the gender studies, she was like, 'it feels like you'd be trying to prove to everyone that you're smart and trying to prove something by doing that. You can prove that you care about it by spending time listening and talking to as many people as you can and keep doing what you're doing."'

Pictures: Rex Features

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Léonie Chao-Fong

Léonie is a freelance journalist who writes primarily to fund her dumpling habit. She has many strong (and not necessarily informed) opinions about art, society, the West Wing and her labradoodle.  

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