Dressed as her "Bling Ring" character Nicki, Watson sports the long hair, fake tattoos and a skin-hugging cut-out dress of a superficial California teenager who robs celebrity homes for designer goods.
"When I read the script and I realized that essentially it was a meditation on fame and what it’s become to our society, I had to do it," the former "Harry Potter" star, now 22, tells the magazine.
"The character is everything that I felt strongly against -- she’s superficial, materialistic, vain, amoral. She’s all of these things and I realized that I hated her. How do you play someone you hate? But I found it really interesting and it gave me a whole new insight into what my job or my role as an actress could be."
"The Bling Ring," directed by Sofia Coppola, is based on a real-life band of teenagers who robbed a string of celebrity homes in 2008 and 2009.
Though Watson denied rumors she was interested in playing Anastasia Steele in the "Fifty Shades of Grey" adaptation, she took on the racy "Bling Ring" role to do "something really different." As long as it wasn't a period drama.
"Really I was open-minded about doing anything, but the one thing I didn't want to do was get myself into a corset because I was worried I'd never get out again.
I had to dive into something really different. This has been a really big departure for me; it's a really big character. That's so exciting for me because it meant I was really acting."
"The Bling Ring" hits theaters in June.