Emma Watson On Hollywood, Belle, And Just Wanting To ‘Hang Out With My Cats’

Emma Watson is set to bring another iconic figure to life in the live-action version of Disney’s iconic Beauty and the Beast, and much like her role as Hermoine Granger, Watson is making the role of Belle her own. For this version of Beauty and the Beast, this means infusing the character with Emma’s own passion for gender equality and her desire to leave the world far better than she found it. Emma opens up about her contributions to Beauty and the Beast, her life as a cultural icon, and her secret yearning to just stay home and find comfort in her pets.

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‘Beauty and the Beast’ re-envisions Belle, courtesy of Emma Watson. [Image by Walt Disney Studios]

In a new interview with Vanity Fair, Emma Watson shares that making Beauty and the Beast for Disney left her feeling that she had finally transitioned from child star to a successful actress as an adult. The live action adaptation helped Watson develop her skills and her authority in a way because she was able to influence how her character developed in the film. For this version of Beauty and the Beast, Emma ensured that, while Belle is still a Disney princess, she’s also a strong female character.

While filming Beauty and the Beast, Ms. Watson insisted on certain changes that would give her greater appeal as a feminist character and a more worthy role model for young girls. For instance, Emma was determined that Belle’s first scene, a shot which establishes the inner nature of the character, didn’t portray her as servile or docile in any way.

“I was like, ‘The first shot of the movie cannot be Belle walking out of this quiet little town carrying a basket with a white napkin in it,’ ” Says Ms. Watson. “‘We need to rev things up!'”

Taking things further, Emma introduced the idea that Belle would be an inventor in this version of Beauty and the Beast because such an ambition would enable her to really change things for the women in her village. For instance, Belle creates a washing machine that frees up time, so women will have more time to read. In the setting of the film, women in the village were largely illiterate and not encouraged to seek education. In that respect, Watson’s character is as revolutionary as Emma has been in her own personal life as an enthusiastic leader in the feminist movement.


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Emma Watson Is Still Tackling Life In Hollywood

Emma Watson dishes on her life as a celebrity. [Image by John Phillips/Getty Images]

The Harry Potter film franchise went a long way towards launching Emma Watson’s career, and since that series of films reached its conclusion, the actress has continued to build an impressive list of credits. As People reports, Emma is now as iconic as the characters she has played, yet as an actress, she’s still compelled to justify turning down roles.

Watson shares her thoughts on having to explain to her agents and eager studio producers why she’s choosing some roles and turning down others.

“But what’s the point of achieving great success if you feel like you’re losing your freakin’ mind? I’ve had to say, ‘Guys, I need to go back to school,’ or ‘I just need to go home and hang out with my cats.’ People have looked at me and been like, ‘Is she insane?’ But, actually, it’s the opposite of insane.”

Watson confesses that it’s not just her career that has fallen under unnecessary scrutiny, revealing that she feels uncomfortable in even talking about her personal life because that inevitably draws her love interest into a circus for which they never asked to be included. Emma says she feels responsible in a way because talking about a current boyfriend seems like an invitation to the paparazzi.

“I’ve noticed, in Hollywood, who you’re dating gets tied up into your film promotion and becomes part of the performance and the circus,” Emma Watson says. “I would hate anyone that I were with to feel like they were in any way part of a show or an act.”

Beauty and the Beast, starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, and Luke Evans, hits theaters on March 17.

[Featured Image by Jeff Spicer/Getty Images]

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