Tuesday, 17 January 2017

Emma Watson explains why the beauty gets a response from the more, than the Cinderella

If you're a ride-or-die member of the Disney tribe, then you know Beauty and the Beast was not the first live-action film Emma Watson was offered. No, the actress (who will portray Belle in BATB when it arrives in theaters on March 17) was actually first asked to play Cinderella in the 2015 adaptation, but she turned it down. (That role eventually went to English actress Lily James.) And while Watson didn't turn down Cinderella for Belle, per se, she does think everything worked out for the best. Why? She believes Belle is the better role model. Princess shots fired?


"I didn't know they were going to make Beauty and the Beast at the time I turned down Cinderella," Watson revealed to Total Film. "But when they offered me Belle, I just felt the character resonated with me so much more than Cinderella did."

Watson then explained why Belle is a better role model than Cinderella and her (probably) uncomfortable glass slippers. "[Belle] remains curious, compassionate, and open-minded," Watson said. "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."

And Belle's curiosity is even more apparent in this new live-action adaptation. Watson worked in tandem with the film's director, Bill Condon, to make Belle more progressive and dynamic; one brilliant way they did this was by turning Belle into an inventor, just like her father in the 1993 animated classic.

"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. We made Belle an inventor," Watson told Entertainment Weekly in November 2016.

So, is Watson right? Does Belle reign supreme when compared to Cinderella? Yes, Belle might have the more tangible qualities of intelligence: She's a voracious reader, asks questions, and doesn't let her surroundings define her. However, Cinderella is resilient, kind, humane, and possesses a lot of qualities that make her a redeemable character, too.

And so do the other princesses, for that matter. Ariel from The Little Mermaid collects human trinkets like some kind of under-water archaeologist. Jasmine from Aladdin refuses to let social norms dictate her future. Hell, Mulan fights in a damn war and saves mother-effing China!

Belle is an excellent role model, but let's not discredit the other badass ladies who exist in the Disney universe. And with that, I leave you with my favorite princess GIF of all time. (And yes, Mulan is a princess. She can be whatever the hell she wants to be, damn it!)

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