Emma Watson balanced pole-dancing classes with Oxford studies

British actress EMMA WATSON gained a new respect for strippers after learning to pole dance for new movie THE BLING RING.

The former Harry Potter star unleashed her sexy side to play rebellious character Nicki in Sofia Coppola's latest film, about the real-life students who stole from the homes of Hollywood A-listers including Paris Hilton, Orlando Bloom and Lindsay Lohan.

To perfect her role as a trashy teen criminal, Watson learned the art of exotic dancing - all while studying literature at Britain's prestigious Oxford University.

She tells Britain's GQ magazine, "I did learn to pole dance for the film, and I have a small pole-dancing scene. But it's not a performance for anyone else, it's just me messing around with my friends.

"I took lessons. When I was preparing for the role I was studying at Oxford. So I had this surreal experience where I was studying the modernists, writing about Virginia Woolf on Friday night, then driving to London for pole dancing classes on Saturday morning."

Watson admits she now sees exotic dancers in a new light, adding, "I was incredibly ungraceful at first. The upper-body strength and the core strength you need to do it gracefully is crazy. I take my hat off to the women who can do it. You have to be incredibly strong."

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