Judging from The Beauty and the Beast trailer, it is evident that no other than Emma Watson is the perfect Belle. However, it turns out the actress was initially asked to be a completely different Disney princess!
The Harry Potter star revealed that though she was given the chance to be Cinderella in Kenneth Branagh’s rendition but denied the role because she didn’t believe that princess was enough of a role model.
“But when they offered me Belle, I just felt the character resonated with me so much more than Cinderella did. She remains curious, compassionate and open-minded. And that’s the kind of woman I would want to embody as a role model, given the choice.”
“In a strange way, she challenges the status quo of the place she lives in, and I found that really inspiring,” Watson further added.
“There’s this kind of outsider quality that Belle had, and the fact she had this really empowering defiance of what was expected of her. In a strange way, she challenges the status quo of the place she lives in, and I found that really inspiring. And also, she manages to keep her integrity and have a completely independent point of view.”
Indeed, Watson only accepted Beauty and the Beast on the condition that she could work with director Bill Condon on updating Belle’s character; for example, making the princess the inventor rather than her father.
“I was like, ‘Well, there was never very much information or detail at the beginning of the story as to why Belle didn’t fit in, other than she liked books,” she told Entertainment Weekly.
“Also, what is she doing with her time?’ So we created a backstory for her, which was that she had invented a kind of washing machine, so that, instead of doing laundry, she could sit and use that time to read instead. So, yeah, we made Belle an inventor.”
The much-hyped remake is set to reach cinemas on 17 March.