How Emma Watson plays a different Belle in 'Beauty and the Beast'

The upcoming film version of 'Beauty and the Beast' stars Dan Stevens and Emma Watson. 'She looks quite grounded and earthy and practical,' Watson says of the new version of the character.

Disney/YouTube
'Beauty and the Beast' stars Emma Watson (l.) and Dan Stevens (r.).

A new trailer has been released for the upcoming live-action version of Disney’s animated film “Beauty and the Beast,” and star Emma Watson says she and others behind the scenes have made an effort to make her character, protagonist Belle, even more active in her own story than the character was in the 1991 original film.

This version of “Beauty” stars Dan Stevens, Ms. Watson, Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor, and Ian McKellen. 

The new trailer begins by showing Belle’s father, Maurice (Kevin Kline), exploring a garden, presumably in the Beast’s castle, before being startled by the appearance of the Beast. 

“The master’s not as terrible as he appears,” Mrs. Potts (Ms. Thompson) tells Belle. The clip also shows the Beast (Mr. Stevens) rescuing Belle from an attack by wolves and the Beast and Gaston (Luke Evans), who is also interested romantically in Belle, fighting. 

Watson has spoken recently about changes that have been made to the character of Belle. She had previously discussed her admiration for the character, telling The Independent, “I loved that she was this feisty heroine whose whole life wasn’t about marrying the most handsome guy in the village. Belle wants to read, she wants to go on adventures and be her own woman, her own person. She was one of my first tastes of feminism, so it’s pretty cool to play her now.”

Now Watson tells Entertainment Weekly that the character has been adjusted for the new film to make Belle even more involved in the events of the story. One of these is that Belle has a talent for inventing, a trait that belonged to her father, Maurice, in the original film.

Watson says Belle’s wardrobe is more suited for outdoor work and her interest in inventing as well. “She’s very practical, she’s a very good horse-rider,” she says. “She always has these pockets on her where she’s carrying tools and books. In the movie, she wears these little ballet shoes, and I knew that they had to go, because if you’re going to ride a horse, and tend your garden, and fix machinery, then you need to be in proper boots … She looks quite grounded and earthy and practical, as far as possible.”

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