The Perks of Being a Wallflower marks Emma Watson’s first major post-Harry Potter role. She remembers meeting with Stephen Chbosky (who not only wrote the 1999 novel but wrote the screenplay and directed the movie, too) who persuaded her to take on the part of Sam, a rebellious and popular high school girl. “At our initial meeting, he said, ‘Okay, not only is this going to be one of the most important parts you play, you’re also going to have the summer of your life and meet some of your best friends.’ I thought, ‘That’s quite a claim. Who is this guy?” Watson says with a laugh. “Everything he said came true.”
The cast — which includes Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller — all bonded while living in the same hotel in Pittsburgh, which Watson now calls one of her favorite places. It was there that Watson can point to one particular scene — when Sam stands up in the back of a pickup truck driving through a tunnel — as the moment she was able to truly graduate from Hogwarts. “I started as Emma with some Hermione still left in my system,” she says. “I went through the tunnel and I came out ready to start something new.”
Check the video below and you’ll the scene she’s talking about! And for more on Emma Watson (including how she mastered an American accent) and 97 other fall movies, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, on stands August 10.