Based on the 2013 novel by Dave Eggers, The Circle is a dramatic thriller that explores themes of interconnectivity as a young woman (Emma Watson) takes a new job at a social network company, then becomes frightened of the effects of constant surveillance, clashing with the company CEO (Tom Hanks).

Emma Watson in The CircleEmma Watson in The Circle

Watson says that the themes struck a real nerve for her. "The story and the questions that it raises," she muses, "I found myself pondering different aspects of it. And I think that's always a good sign for a story or something I might potentially work on. It doesn't leave you quickly."

Having been in the public eye since she was a young child, Watson is more aware than most of the effects of social media. "I love what it can do and how it brings people together," she says."But used in the wrong way, it's incredibly dangerous. The story of my life has been of public interest, which is why I've been so passionate about having a private identity. So when I step into a character, people have to be able to suspend their disbelief. And not having everyone know every single intimate detail of my entire life is part of me trying to protect my ability to do my job well."

She sees The Circle as a film about today's society, not some dystopian future. "This is a story that could be happening now," Watson says. "I don't think the film is there to preach or give a particular perspective on the issue of personal boundaries, but it gives the audience a moment to ask questions. I think that's what is difficult about our situation now is we give our information away so freely without much thought."

Watson also sees that social media is changing the celebrity landscape in unexpected ways. "Fame isn't something experienced by just celebrities anymore," she says. "To a certain degree, everyone who uses social media or has a social media platform is broadcasting themselves, marketing themselves, sharing intimate details of their lives. They're receiving comments, they're receiving likes and dislikes, they're experiencing exactly what I'm experiencing."

And she's also aware that fame can be a scary thing to live with. "Sometimes the fear of doing things is overwhelming," she says. "I get incredibly overwhelmed and sometimes feel hemmed in by that, afraid of that. But I know that if I live in that fear, then my life as an artist, as a human being really, is over."

Watch the trailer for The Circle: