Emma Watson credits her 'Harry Potter' character for helping create her sense of style.

The 20-year-old actress - who shot to fame in 2001 playing school swot Hermione Granger in the hugely successful movie franchise - says because she only really wore a school uniform in the films, she made sure she expressed herself when she went to events as herself.

She told WWD: "I have Hermione to thank, in a weird way, for my sense of style. Playing this role, fashion was my way of expressing myself away from that school uniform. When I got the chance to dress myself, I was so thrilled to be able to be Emma and show a different side of myself. Maybe I would never have been this interested in fashion if I hadn't played that role for so long and sometimes felt so constrained by being identified with her so much.

"I mean, I just wasn't allowed to do anything: wasn't allowed to cut my hair, put on nail varnish, tan, wear a bra that made my boobs in any way look larger, have any flesh showing, wear any makeup when I was playing Hermione. I always had to back-comb my hair - 'She looks too pretty, take down the blush or the mascara, take it off.' Fashion was my rebellion."

Emma recently cut off her long tresses as a Celebration of filming the last 'Harry Potter' movie and says she feels so much more sexier with short hair.

She said: "I've always been around women who have short hair. I think it's really sexy, having all your hair off your neck and your skin bare. I'm still getting used to it, but I feel like I have ownership over it. Because I kind of felt my hair was half me, half Hermione, and with this, I can obviously completely disassociate myself from that role."