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“I feel like an imposter” Emma Watson reveals why her acting success makes her uncomfortable

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She's held down a successful acting career following intense childhood stardom, while simultaneously managing to graduate from university and become a powerful voice in the global campaign for gender equality.

However, actress Emma Watson has admitted that despite her achievements, she - like the best of us - still struggles with pangs of insecurity, and feels "incredibly uncomfortable" taking compliments on her talent.

Emma, 25, who was recently named one of the world's 100 most influential people, even went so far as to describe herself as feeling like an "imposter" in an interview with Vogue.

Asked whether acting comes naturally to her, she replied: “It’s something I’ve really wrestled with. I’ve gone back and I’ve quizzed my parents. When I was younger, I just did it. I just acted. It was just there. So now when I receive recognition for my acting, I feel incredibly uncomfortable. I tend to turn in on myself. I feel like an imposter […] It was just something I did.”

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Emma speaking at the World Economic Forum in January

Since her Hermione Granger days in the hugely successful Harry Potter franchise, Emma has also become something of a style icon, impressing on red carpets and previously modelling for Burberry and Lancôme, but it's her role as Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women that's really made waves.

She launched HeForShe in New York in September last year with a powerful speech in which she asked men to stand up and be included in the battle for gender equality. 

Emma  auditioned for Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone at the age of nine. She was 11 when the film came out in 2001, and once revealed she envied peers who'd entered the industry as an adult, saying, "There are all these actresses who have emerged in the last year or two, and they get to emerge as this complete human being. And I'm so jealous!"

But Emma now credits the success of HeForShe launch as giving her a "sense of peace" with herself.

“Part of me relaxed after I took on that position, it gave me a sense of belonging and purpose," she explained. "Everything clicked into place, in a way that it hadn’t before. I understood what I’m here to do and knew where to channel all this energy that has been coming at me. I now feel this sense of peace. People say that I’m different since I did it.”

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Emma's Beauty and the Beast co-star Josh Gad posted this picture during filming

Though she did reveal she understandably suffered some nerves ahead of her debut UN address. She told the magazine: "I was in my hotel room, thinking, 'I can’t do this.' I was just terrified. And then I Skyped a friend who said, ‘Go through it again and ask yourself, if you were hit by a bus tomorrow, would you be comfortable with every single line?'"

The star has just wrapped filming on the new live action Beauty and the Beast, and recently spoke at the World Economic Forum in Switzerland to unveil the new HeForShe IMPACT 10X10X10 initiative, described as aiming to "engage governments, corporations and universities as instruments of change".

The full interview with Emma can be found in the September issue of Vogue.

Images: Rex Features, @joshgad

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