Mario Testino for VogueUs MagazineIt's not always easy standing up for what you believe in -- just ask Emma Watson.
The 21-year-old actress, next seen in Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2, tells the July issue of Vogue that her decision attend Brown University in 2009 was met with great disdain by the franchise's distributer.
"I have felt for the last 10 years I have had this battle; I've been fighting so hard to have an education. It's been this uphill struggle," Watson explains, clenching her hands as she speaks. "I was Warner Bros.' pain in the butt. I was their scheduling conflict. I was the one who made life difficult."
Standing her ground, Watson announced she would not renew her contract for the final two Potter films unless Warner Bros. agreed to work around her schedule. They relented, and, Watson says, "I just realized at one point that I can't fight everything. I have to move in the direction of it -- and go with it."
Once classes began, Watson says she felt like a normal student: finishing papers in the wee hours of the morning, wearing flip-flops to class, attending wild parties. But unlike her peers, the actress often took time off to shoot scenes or attend a movie junket, only to return tired and jet-lagged before finals.
A brief encounter with James Franco, then studying at Rhode Island School of Design, helped her keep things in perspective. "It was such a relief to speak to someone who is trying to do the same thing I'm doing," Watson says. "I talked to him about juggling studying and making films and going backward and forward. He's not afraid or limited by what he fears people will say about it."
Though she's since left Brown University, Watson doesn't regret standing up to Warner Bros. in order to pursue her dream.
"I've probably earned the right to screw up a few times," she says. "I don't want the fear of failure to stop me from doing what I really care about."
See Emma in this featurette from 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows Part 2':