Emma Watson: James Franco Helped Me with Juggling School and Acting

The Harry Potter star, who recently left Brown University, says it has been an "uphill struggle" to get an education

Harry Potter heroine Hermione Granger might be able to ace her classes at Hogwarts while battling Voldemort and his minions, but getting a top-notch education hasn't been quite so easy for her real-life alter-ego Emma Watson. The 21-year-old actress has had a difficult time in the past year trying to juggle her busy movie career and her studies at Rhode Island's Brown University. In a new interview with Vogue, Watson  -- who has now dropped out of Brown (though not because she was bullied, thank you very much) -- opens up about her struggle to find balance, and reveals how James Franco helped her.

In the interview, Watson admits that she was so passionate about getting an education, she even refused to renew her Harry Potter contract for the final films unless Warner Bros. worked around her school schedule. "I have felt for the last 10 years I have had this battle. I've been fighting so hard to have an education," she says. "It's been this uphill struggle. I was Warner Bros.' pain in the butt. I was their scheduling conflict. I was the one who made life difficult."

Leaving Brown was a difficult decision, but as Watson told the Sunday Times Style magazine: "I was in denial. I wanted to pretend I wasn't as famous as I was. I was trying to seek out normality, but I kind of have to accept who I am, the position I'm in and what happened." That said, Emma isn't giving up on her education; she intendes to enroll in a new school closer to home this fall.

And it was a brief run-in with actor James Franco -- who was studying at the Rhode Island School of Design (RISD) at the time and has famously balanced a jam-packed acting career with his pursuit of a higher education -- that helped to give Watson some perspective on her situation. "It was such a relief to speak to someone who is trying to do the same thing I'm doing," Watson tells Vogue. "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."

Chosen at the age of 9 to play the coveted role of Hermione, Watson has grown up in the public eye. "I have had no control over my life," she says. "I have lived in a complete bubble. They found me and picked me for the part. And now I'm desperately trying to find my way through it."

The final chapter in the Potter series, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2, hits theatres on July 15. Perhaps Watson will find some more normality in her life after that.

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