Books

Emma Watson backs Big Issue literacy campaign

It’s magic, the Harry Potter star almost says...

She may be a one of the most recognisable stars of cinema in the world, but when The Big Issue knocks, Emma Watson answers.

The Big Issue’s #WhyBooksMatter literacy campaign has been calling for the government and local authorities to keep open these vital resources rather than closing them. And Watson, out and about promoting Beauty and The Beast, is right behind it.

“Whilst watching the original Beauty and the Beast as a little girl and particularly again watching our version, I decided: I don’t want an engagement ring, I just want someone to build me a library like the one in Beauty and the Beast. That is all I want,” she told us.

“If you have a book with you, then you always have a friend, or you have someone who understands you, or you have somewhere to escape to, or a place to go for comfort. It challenges you to think differently. It keeps you up at night. The best books are the ones where you can’t sleep.”

I decided: I don’t want an engagement ring, I just want someone to build me a library

She’s not alone. Her co-star (with whom she shares this week’s Big Issue cover) Dan Stevens echoes the call.

“Could I get behind [the campaign]?” he asked.. “It is a big concern. You look throughout history – the things that terrible regimes have targeted first are very often nurseries and libraries – the first things to go.

Read. @bigissueuk

A post shared by Dan Stevens (@thatdanstevens) on

“Libraries are certainly where I grew up,” he continues. “The magic of the library. They don’t have to be as gorgeous as Beast’s (the movie features an incredible library) ours is this kind of ridiculous, fantasy library. It was really mad. That set was really one of our favourites, I think. It was so beautifully designed. All those globes. It was gorgeous. But any library, really, or even a bookshelf gets me really excited.”

This is why, when presented with copies of our literacy campaign launch issue, they are delighted.

Watson: “Oh, that is so beautiful. Thank you so much.” Stevens: “Can we keep these?”

Be our guest… £2.50, every Monday.

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