Emma Watson reveals why Beauty and the Beast role is so important to her

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Kayleigh Dray
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We’ve been counting down the days for what feels like forever, but now there’s just a few months to go until the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast hits cinemas. 

With Emma Watson as the lead – and promising a seriously feminist makeover of the original tale – the film looks set to be the empowering movie we all need from 2017.

And Watson, for one, feels the weight of expectation upon her.

The Harry Potter star has made no secret for her love of the film.

Now, in a brand new featurette, she has explained why this particular role is so important to her – and why she has agreed to bring a Disney princess to life upon the silver screen.

Speaking from the heart, Watson said: “I think I’ve loved Beauty and the Beast since I was about four years old.”

And, as you’ve probably guessed, a lot of that was down to Belle’s independence; unlike Disney princesses that had come before her, such as Cinderella, Snow White, and Sleeping Beauty’s Aurora, Belle is not a mute damsel in distress, who waits for Prince Charming to rescue her from servitude and oppression.

Instead, Belle is an intelligent bookworm, who pursues adventure “in the great wide somewhere”, rescues her father, challenges opinions, and finds a partner who is worthy of her love. There’s no immediate ‘love at first sight, or rushing off into the sunset with a man she’s just met; instead, Belle and Beast’s relationship is difficult, and complex, and built upon a firm foundation of friendship.

“I just fell in love with Belle,” says Watson. “She was this feisty young woman who spoke her mind.”

Watch the featurette for yourself below:

Watson continues: “I know what she meant to me as a young girl.

“And, when you love something that much, you really want to do it justice.”

Watson previously revealed that she wanted her interpretation of Belle to evolve the character's backstory, allowing her to be a more fleshed-out and awesome character than the bookworm from the original.

In the new film, she will be just as curious and kind-hearted as she ever was. However she will be seen putting all of the knowledge gleaned from her incessant reading to good use, designing new inventions to help her avoid all the sexist chores a woman from a “poor provincial town” was supposed to undertake in the 1700s.

Belle will also be ditching the restrictive corset and high heels donned by so many Disney princesses that have come before her, choosing gowns which seem far more suited to an ‘active’ princess.

Beauty and the Beast hits cinemas 17 March 2017.


Images: Disney


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Kayleigh Dray

Kayleigh Dray is Stylist’s digital editor-at-large. Her specialist topics include comic books, films, TV and feminism. On a weekend, you can usually find her drinking copious amounts of tea and playing boardgames with her friends.