Arriving in theaters at the end of this week is Disney’s live action retelling of Beauty & The Beast. Emma Watson takes the lead role of Belle, opposite Dan Stevens’ Beast, and Den of Geek UK caught up with her ahead of the movie’s release.
One of the few criticisms of the original film is that it played into the visual style Disney had adopted for its princesses, in that their waist seemed more like a straw than anything that could support in any way the requirements of a human being.
It was something that Watson was keen to address, as she told a bunch of reporters, including Den Of Geek. When asked how she wanted to present her take on Belle, she joked that “I pushed as hard as I could without getting myself fired.”
“It’s subtle things. I insisted that she had some kind of trousers on underneath her skirt so that she could get on and off a horse in a way that wasn’t ridiculous. I made sure that she wore proper boots. And I insisted that she had big pockets so that she could carry around her books. I insisted she had a vocation of some kind.”
Perhaps even more prominently, she looked at “how to make her less perfect.”
“I insisted on this film, for example, that they keep my freckles. Usually they block them all out. I insisted that my body shape be the body shape. You come under quite serious pressure when you’re doing Hollywood films to wear a heavy amount of boob support and whatever else! Various different things like that. I thought the more human I could make her, that to me felt the best way to serve her.”
Watson did add that these weren’t decisions that she came up with alone, and that director Bill Condon and the production team were on side with her. There was no implication in her words – knowing how easily these things get twisted – that Disney was insisting she alter her body shape for the role. But also, Belle is clearly an important character for Watson, and she wanted her to be a role model for younger girls.
Beauty & The Beast is in cinemas from Friday.