Emma Watson of "Harry Potter" fame says she watched "a ton of reality TV," including footage of Kim Kardashian, and absorbed "super-high and super-low culture" while preparing to play a teen burglar in Sofia Coppola's new film "The Bling Ring."
The movie is based on the true story of a group of celebrity-obsessed teens who broke into the homes of several stars such as Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton. Kardashian, one of the highest-earning reality TV actresses, was not one of the targets.
Watson plays a burglar named Nicki, which is not the name of any of the real-life suspects, although her character is supposed to be based on one of them.
''I just watched a ton of reality TV,'' Watson told Entertainment Weekly, while talking about how she prepared for her role. ''I was doing an English course [at Brown University]. So I would go from reading Virginia Woolf to [watching] Kim Kardashian. I kind of loved it, this mix of super-high and super-low culture. I think it was a nice balance.''
Watson rose to fame as a child star, playing prim and proper witch Hermione Granger in the "Harry Potter" movies. "The Bling Ring" marks one of the British actress' edgiest roles.
Earlier this month, Watson Tweeted a photo of herself in costume. She wore a light pink, short-sleeve, tight-fitting, zip-up sweatshirt that showed off fake tattoos on her arms and stomach, matching sweatpants tucked into UGG boots and a haughty expression on her face.
"Nicki likes Lip Gloss, Purses, Yoga, Pole Dancing, Uggs, Louboutins, Juice Cleanses, Iced coffee and Tattoos," she wrote.
In April, she was seen in celebrity photographs taken on the movie set sporting a lower back tattoo known as a "tramp stamp," brunette hair extensions, as well as Daisy Dukes, a black leather jacket and strappy high-heeled sandals.
The reported burglaries that inspired "The Bling Ring" were carried out between September 2008 and August 2009. More than $3 million worth of jewelry, designer clothes and accessories were reported stolen from the houses. None of the stars were inside their houses at the time of the burglaries.
In the movie, the "Bling Ring" members use the web to track down the celebrities' whereabouts so they can rob their homes while they are away.
"The "Bling Ring" began filming in March and wrapped in late April. The movie is set for release in 2013 and also stars Leslie Mann, who portrays Nicki's mother, Kirsten Dunst, Bush singer Gavin Rossdale and Taissa Farmiga, the younger sister of actress Vera Farmiga, who is also known for her role as Violet Harmon in the FX series "American Horror Story."