Watson revels in post-‘Potter’ freedom

CANNES, France – Emma Watson is reveling in her post-“Potter” freedom at the Cannes Film Festival, relishing a Valley Girl role far from her wise-beyond-her-years Hermione.

The 23-year-old “Harry Potter” actress stars in Sofia Coppola’s “The Bling Ring,” which premiered Thursday at the French Riviera festival. The British actress plays a celebrity-obsessed, thickly accented Los Angeles teenager who, with a group of friends, burgles Hollywood stars such as Paris Hilton and Lindsay Lohan.

At Cannes, Watson told reporters that while she remains proud of her work on the “Potter” films, they now feel long ago.

“I’m not trying to run away from it,” she said. “I’ve just had an amazing three or four years. I’m really re-enjoying having the chance to transform into new roles and work with new creative people.”