Emma Watson's Fame-Hungry Inspiration for 'The Bling Ring': The Kardashians

The actress says she watched Keeping up with the Kardashians to prepare for the role of a celebrity-obsessed thief

Emma Watson has been internationally famous since she was nine years old. She has no idea what it's like to desperately crave fame and status, like her character in The Bling Ring. Fortunately, the former Harry Potter star had some excellent role models: the Kardashians!

"I watched a lot of Keeping up with the Kardashians and The Hills, and I tried to understand the psychology of this kind of girl as much as possible," Watson, 23, told reporters at the Cannes Film Festival. "I didn't want her to be just a parody. The accent was hard as it was a particular kind of dialect. I also thought a lot about what her parents must have been like."

In the Sofia Coppola film, Watson plays a teenager who goes on a crime spree, robbing the homes of hot young celebrities. Her character is based on the real-life Alexis Neiers, a member of the "Bling Ring" gang that stole designer goods from the likes of Paris Hilton, Lindsay Lohan, Orlando Bloom and Audrina Patridge between 2008 and 2009.

"I was dying to play her," Watson told W magazine. "[My character] Nicki is so different from me. How do I try and understand a young woman who loves these things so much that she is prepared to commit crimes to have them?"

Ironically, Watson may be one of the few people who can't identify with her character's desires. Don't we all want to live in that world of wealth, glamour, and fame, if only for a moment? Isn't that why we're so interested in the Kardashians and the Real Housewives?

"This really isn't a heist movie," Watson said at Cannes. "It was about how these kids wanted to pretend for just two hours or so that they were actually Paris Hilton and living that life."

The Bling Ring members thought that by taking celebrities' stuff, they could become part of that inner circle. In a way, it doesn't seem like such a stretch; socialites like Hilton and Kim Kardashian are defined, in large part, by what they wear, buy and consume. Obviously, the Bling Ring's methods of obtaining those things didn't work out so well in the end, as most of them ended up with jail sentences. And yet, they're now the subject of a hot summer movie, so in that sense ... mission accomplished?

The Bling Ring hits theaters on June 14. Watch the trailer below!

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