While Emma Watson seems like a natural fit to play the book-obsessed Belle in Beauty and the Beast, her decision to take on the character wasn't instantaneous. In the new issue of Entertainment Weekly, she reveals that she worried whether Belle had Stockholm syndrome.
"It's something I really grappled with at the beginning: the Stockholm-syndrome question. That's where a prisoner will take on the characteristics of and fall in love with the captor," she says.
But ultimately, she decided that her character fell in love with the Beast of her own free will. "She has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm syndrome because she keeps her independence; she keeps that freedom of thought," she added.
"I also think there is a very intentional switch where, in my mind, Belle decides to stay. She's giving him hell. There is no sense of 'I need to kill this guy with kindness.' Or any sense that she deserves this. In fact, she gives as good as she gets. He bangs on the door, she bangs back. There's this defiance that 'You think I'm going to come and eat dinner with you and I'm your prisoner—absolutely not.'"
VIDEO: Beauty and the Beast Official U.S. Trailer
Instead of love at first sight, Belle's love grows for the Beast over time. "The other beautiful thing about the love story is that they form a friendship first. There is this genuine sharing, and the love builds out of that, which in many ways is more meaningful than a lot of love stories, where it was love at first sight. They are having no illusions about who the other one is," she says. "They have seen the worst of one another, and they also bring out the best."
Be their guest to see just how Watson modernized the classic princess when Beauty and the Beast hits theaters on March 17.