WATSON's latest role as a “Valley vixen” leaves Hermione far behind as she steals, smokes, strips, and pole dances her way through Sophia Coppola’s new tale of burglary, The Bling Ring.
The controversial new movie is based on the true story of a group of teenagers who reportedly robbed Hollywood celebrities, stealing millions of dollars worth of jewellery, clothes and accessories.
The film, directed by Sophia Coppola (Marie Antoinette, Lost in Translation), is a major departure for Watson from her famed role as bookworm Hermione in eight installments of the Harry Potter franchise.
The 23-year-old actress, who celebrated her birthday at a piñata party last month, plays the vain, amoral gang-leader Nicki, a home-schooled rich kid fixated on celebrities.
Watson’s character is based on Alexis Neiers, who spent 30 days in jail for her role as part of the real-life Bling Ring.
Neiers herself recently branded the movie "trashy and inaccurate" on Twitter, and said she had no intention of seeing the flick.
The young gangsters track the stars through online celebrity sites to find out when they are out of town, filming on-location or partying, Google their addresses, and turn up at the Hollywood locations to burgle the homes of the rich and famous.
Watson took time out from studying at Oxford and at Brown University not only to learn how to pole dance, but to perform an actual burglary with other cast members as organised by Coppola in preparation for the movie.
This is Watson third post-Potter role, after a small part in My Week with Marilyn and last year’s well-received teen drama The Perks of Being a Wallflower, for which Watson won the Trailblazer award at last month’s MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles.
Watson has said the film was not about getting away from Hermione, but her pursuit in becoming a character actress.
Nonetheless, the film is set to transform Burberry model’s image as goody-two-shoes Hermione and reinvent her post-Potter career, catapulting her into unexpected territories.
The widely anticipated The Bling Ring is to be screened at this month’s Cannes Film Festival which kicks off on May 15, and will be released here on July 5th.