Emma Watson On Feminism And Women's Protest: 'It Says So Much About What We Can Achieve As A Group'

Watson dishes on feminism, the solidarity of women, Caitlin Moran's life lessons and the magic of award shows

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She might be winning a Beast's heart in her upcoming role as Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast, but tonight, actress and activist Emma Watson has won the 'Woman of the Year' gong at the 2017 ELLE Style Awards.

On nabbing the coveted title, Watson opened up on how it feels to be recognised for her work, not only as an actress of Harry Potter fame, but a humanitarian.

'I'm not sure I deserve it really,' she admitted. 'But, I'll take it,' she joked.

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'It's such an honour. It's such a lovely way to begin starting to do press for Beauty and the Beast so it feels like a really nice send off.

'It feels like I'm at the end of the harbour, ready to set off on my journey and it's a nice wave from the British shores,' she mused.

At this evening's award show, sponsored by H&M, the 26-year-old received her award from author and columnist, Caitlin Moran.

'Oh my god, I just love Caitlin,' gushed Watson.

'It's the dream. I read her books over about four or five year ago and I couldn't stop laughing and crying. To have her presenting me an award to tonight is beyond lovely,' she continued.

The gender equality advocate and UN Women's HeForShe campaigner revealed she struck up a friendship with the writer after reaching out to express how much of a fan she was of her work.

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She explained: 'We ended up having coffee and she gave me all this fantastic advice about navigating feminism. It was such a relief.'

The actress, who studied English at Oxford and Brown university, opened up on Caitlin's life lessons as a woman and feminist, revealing she helped open her to a whole world of feminist thinkings.

'Caitlin has a certain resilience which I find particularly inspiring. She had this much bigger birds eye view than I did at a time of some of the things I was struggling with.'

We ended up having coffee and [Caitlin] gave me all this fantastic advice about navigating feminism. It was such a relief.

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'The kind of perspective I have and the longevity she has, kind of felt very steadying. She's so f*cking funny so that helps,' she joked.

Watson's honouring of Moran and her feminist teachings comes weeks after she joined the Women's March in Washington DC.

Speaking about the current state of politics in the US and the infringement of women's rights around the world, the Paris-born actress said that while there might be upset and uncertainty, it's also been a time of unprecedented unity.

'That has been the upside of the downsides of late which is difficult times, but also this emerging, very cohesive group of women that are being very vocal and showing real solidarity.'

'The fact that we managed to organise one of the most peaceful, largest protests in history, says so much about what we can achieve and about us as a group. It feels very exciting,' she continued.

On scooping the award tonight, the Harry Potter star admitted she finds awards shows a form of escapism from day-to-day life.

The fact that we managed to organize one of the most peaceful, largest protests in history, says so much about what we can achieve and about us as a group.

'In a strange way, the unreality of them is quite comforting, in the sense that you embrace the unreal nature of them and it sort of feels likes it's a strange out of body experience that's wonderful and dreamy.'

'Then you kind of come back down and come back to reality. I compartmentalise, which is necessary in a funny way,' she said.

Congratulations, Emma!

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