When she was a little girl, Emma Watson became enchanted by Disney’s 1991 animated classic “Beauty and the Beast”, and now the former “Harry Potter” star opens up to Entertainment Weekly about portraying the iconic fairytale heroine Belle.
“Ican’t even think how many times I watched it as a child,” says Watson. “I knew all the words by heart. I knew all the songs by heart.”
However, grown-up Watson is also a proud feminist, and she explains how that has led her to put a somewhat different spin on the character.
“In the animated movie, it’s her father who is the inventor, and we actually co-opted that for Belle,” Watson tells EW (via Us Weekly). “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. 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.”
This philosophy is also reflected in the character’s costumes, notes the film’s costume designer Jacqueline Durran. “In Emma’s reinterpretation, Belle is an active princess,” she adds. “She did not want a dress that was corseted or that would impede her in any way.”