Emma Watson has lived the dream of countless childhoods by getting her pick of Disney princesses to play. And like those of us who ignored the whole Stockholm Syndrome thing to focus on our favorite character’s literary inclinations, she chose Beauty And The Beast’s Belle. In an interview with Total Film, coming to us via Screen Rant, Watson explained that she was offered the part of Cinderella in Kenneth Branagh’s 2015 live action reboot, but said no, leaving the role for Lily James to swoop up in her giant gown. Then the chance to play Belle came along.
“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 said. “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.” That’s reasoning befitting a UN Goodwill Ambassador who was Harry Potter’s Hermione and makes a habit of leaving feminist texts in public places. In the original, Belle’s defining characteristic is that she reads, which gets her labeled “peculiar” in her “small provincial town.” Watson has said that she expanded on that in the new version, making her an inventor.