Credits: Ralf Succo/

Emma Watson is taking a year-long hiatus from acting in order to focus on philanthropy and her “own personal development”.

The 25 year old made her professional acting debut in the first Harry Potter film in 2001, but now she’s ready to step out of the spotlight to focus on other endeavors that aren’t related to the entertainment industry.

“I’m taking a year away from acting to focus on two things, really. My own personal development is one,” she tells author bell hooks in an interview for Paper magazine. “My own personal task is to read a book a week, and also to read a book a month as part of my book club. I’m doing a huge amount of reading and study just on my own.

“I almost thought about going and doing a year of gender studies, then I realized that I was learning so much by being on the ground and just speaking with people and doing my reading. That I was learning so much on my own. I actually wanted to keep on the path that I’m on. I’m reading a lot this year, and I want to do a lot of listening.”

She continues, “I’m reading so much and exposing myself to so many new ideas. It almost feels like the chemistry and the structure of my brain is changing so rapidly sometimes. It feels as if sometimes I’m struggling to keep up with myself. It’s a really cool period of time for me. My work that I do for the UN is all very clearly outlined, but my personal views and opinions are still being defined, really. So it’ll be an interesting time.”

The other goal she has during her self-imposed hiatus is to continue to absorb herself in her work for the United Nations and its women’s rights campaign HeForShe, revealing plans to “take another field trip in the next two or three months,” as well as, “organising a HeForShe arts week, a university tour, and launching the HeForShe website.”

Watson admits, “It’s a lot. There’s a lot to do.”

While she doesn’t have any new projects on her slate, Watson is releasing one film this year, sci-fi thriller The Circle.

PHOTO: Instagram @emmawatson

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