You may recall seeing Watson's name come up for the role Lily James ended up taking in Disney's live-action "Cinderella." In 2013, it was revealed that Watson had dropped out of talks. Why? In a new cover story for Total Film -- which features a few new photos -- Watson explained why she picked Belle over Ella (via E!):
"I didn't know they were going to make 'Beauty and the Beast' at the time I turned down 'Cinderella.' 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. ... 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. She manages to keep her integrity and have a completely independent point of view. She's not easily swayed by other people's perspective -- not swayed by fear-mongering or scapegoating."
Yeah, Watson is pretty much the ideal actress to play the free-thinking, kind-hearted bookworm (who happens to be beautiful) that fans fell in love with right in Belle's first scene in the animated movie. Plus, as Belle, Watson gets to show off her pipes, and "Cinderella" wasn't a musical.
"Beauty and the Beast" opens March 17th.
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Belle (Emma Watson), a bright, beautiful and independent young woman, is taken prisoner by a beast (Dan Stevens) in its castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle's enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the beast's hideous exterior, allowing her to recognize the kind heart and soul of the true prince that hides on the inside. Read More
After her father unexpectedly dies, young Ella (Lily James) finds herself at the mercy of her cruel stepmother (Cate Blanchett) and stepsisters, who reduce her to scullery maid. Despite her circumstances, she refuses to despair. An invitation to a palace ball gives Ella hope that she might reunite with the dashing stranger (Richard Madden) she met in the woods, but her stepmother prevents her from going. Help arrives in the form of a kindly beggar woman who has a magic touch for ordinary things. Read More