Emma Watson Turned Down Cinderella Before She Was Offered a Role as Belle
Between the new live-action Beauty and the Beast trailers and the film's revamped feminist backstory, it's safe to say that Emma Watson makes the ideal Belle, but it wasn't the first Disney princess role that the Harry Potter star was offered. In the new issue of Total Film, Watson reveals that she passed on the part of Cinderella (whom Lily James portrayed in Disney's 2015 live-action film).
"I didn't know they were going to make Beauty and the Beast at the time I turned down Cinderella," she said. "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," she added. "And that's the kind of woman I would want to embody as a role model, given the choice."
VIDEO: Beauty and the Beast Official U.S. Trailer
The actress continued: "There's this kind of outsider quality that Belle had, and the fact that 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."
But the role that Watson plays in the upcoming live-action film isn't the one that was originally written. The Harry Potter star worked with director Bill Condon to turn Belle into an inventor, like her father, and modify her wardrobe to fit that of a horseback-riding woman.
Now this is a princess that we can definitely get behind.