Emma Watson once more takes front and center to portray Belle, the princess affectionately called “Beauty” in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast. The film is one of the most anticipated movies of the year, owing to it being shown in the trailers as a very beautiful live-action remake of the Disney classic.
Being the cover girl for the March issue of Elle UK, Emma Watson shared her thoughts on playing the woman who ensnared the Beast’s heart. There were talks, of course, about how portraying Belle in Beauty and the Beast measures up to her previous film projects, specifically being Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies.
As most people know, Emma Watson began her acting career at a very young age. At 11 years old, she already had the daunting task of portraying the “insufferable know-it-all” from the wildly popular book and film series.
She was at this for more than a decade, and audiences grew with Watson and the rest of the cast. It’s unsurprising that the character is always attached to the actress; most people think of Hermione Granger when the name Emma Watson is mentioned.
On Belle and Hermione Parallels
Emma said that acting as Belle is “the perfect, most joyful thing to do.” The 26-year-old actress also admitted that she feels there is something “connected” about Hermione and Belle.
It is easy to see how Belle parallels Hermione Granger in several ways. Both women are strong in their own right, and they have this persistent determination to finish what they first sought out to do. It should also go without saying that both women are very smart; Hermione’s claim to fame is actually being the brightest witch in her year.
Meanwhile, as pointed out by Nerdist, Belle is her own kind of bookworm in this version of Beauty and the Beast. Emma stated that she wanted for Belle to have a richer back story in the remake, so they created an alternate version of the princess who also is the inventor in the film, rather than her father Maurice as it was in the original animation.
Emma thinks that this gives the character “more depth,” as she thought that Belle was disliked in the original movie without really giving out reasons why. She felt that making Belle the “mad, wacky inventor” in the new film at least gives apparent reasons why she is seen as an “outsider.”
— ELLEUK (@ELLEUK) February 9, 2017
“The film is pure escapism,” the 26-year-old actress said further. She added that working on Beauty and the Beast reminds her that she is an actress, too, a nod to the past year where she refrained from appearing in movies to focus on activism.
On Activism and the HeForShe Initiative
Emma Watson also talked about her off-screen endeavors. In the past year, she was seen energetically promoting her advocacy, which mostly revolve around gender equality. She stated that she took the year-long hiatus not necessarily trying to prove anything, but seeing as she had the year for herself, she said she just tried to make a difference; to see what she can do to “move the needle,” so to speak.
She had been mostly successful with getting her voice heard, but of course she has her fair share of critics. Watson saw the constant criticism as a way for her to toughen up to Hollywood’s demanding environment.
“There is a level of criticism that comes with being an actress and a public figure, which I expect, but once you take a stance on something like feminism, that’s a completely different ball game.”
Watson admitted that she is “no expert,” when it comes to feminism but she is “working on it.” The actress is expected to return to activism shortly after Beauty and the Beast hits theaters on March 17, 2017.
[Featured Image by Mike Coppola/Getty Images]