New York

Emma Watson’s speech on behalf of the UN’s HeForShe Campaign as the newly-established UN Women Goodwill Ambassador went viral last year for good reason. It was an impassioned, informative appeal to men to become more involved in feminism and the fight for gender equality. Now, it seems even more impressive, because she went against advice while writing it.

In a recent interview with Porter Magazine, Watson talks about the experience as a byproduct of a change in her in recent years to start living more comfortably as herself, rather than trying to figure out how to live as Hermione Granger, which she did for more than half her life.

At 25, Watson is only now feeling comfortable in her own skin, having used the years after the Harry Potter franchise to do the kind of self-exploration that most people get to do in their teens. And though she’s an actress, she’s trying to blur the line between “public persona” and her “real self,” wanting simply to be herself everywhere.

Moreover, Emma Watson met up with acting newcomer Daisy Ridley to offer her advice on how to handle fame. Emma was plucked from obscurity at the age of 11 to star as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films, and British newcomer Daisy is set to become a household name following the release of Star Wars: Episode VII - The Force Awakens this month. The 23 year old tells Britain’s Daily Mail newspaper that she met Emma in London’s Covent Garden district to ask her how to cope with stardom. “I asked her some stuff that I hadn’t been able to ask (co-stars) Harrison (Ford) and Carrie (Fisher),” she says.

During their meeting, they also discussed Emma’s work with United Nations and her HeForShe gender equality campaign, Daisy adds, “She’s doing amazing things and I am not. I would love to be able to do so many other things as well, but I’d love to have a great career as an actress.”

During the interview, Daisy also recalls that director JJ Abrams told her she had the Star Wars part over the phone when she was supposed to be watching a play in London’s West End, but she ended up spending most of the performance in the foyer. “I remember I could hear the play going on inside,” she adds. “Obviously, something monumental had happened in my life, but no one else knew. It was weird. I saw the rest of the play and then went home on the Tube.”

Daisy did not tell her theatre companion, and only shared the secret with her parents and two sisters before she headed to her first cast meeting. “The director JJ introduced him (Harrison Ford) to me, I said: ‘Oh my God! My mum loves you and he was like: ‘Really?’ And I realised it was something that made him feel older.”