Emma Watson burst onto our television screens through her roles as Hermione in the “Harry Potter” films and Sam in “The Perks of Being a Wallflower.”
Through these roles and in her other iconic films, she has demonstrated her versatility and superb acting skills. She then took her skills to Disney, where she took on the role of Belle in the 2017 live-action remake of the classic fairy tale “Beauty and the Beast.”
Watson’s performance as Belle has been praised and applauded by critics and viewers of the film, and she has even won awards for her acting. However, many fans of Watson and the film don’t know that she almost didn’t take the Beauty and the Beast role.
The superstar was offered the opportunity to act in the live-action remake of “Cinderella” but turned it down.
Read on to find out why she turned it down and how that led to her acting as Belle.
A Short History Of Disney’s Live-Action Remakes
For Disney’s first live-action film remake in 1994, they chose the 1967 animated “The Jungle Book” film. They then went on to remake the 1961 “101 Dalmatians” animated classic in 1996, which starred Glenn Close as the villain Cruella De Vil.
Disney has made many more live-action remakes, but their first Disney princess film to be remade into live action was “Sleeping Beauty.”
However, many fans have stated that it wasn’t a proper remake as Disney chose not to use the proper story of Sleeping beauty but extracted certain characters and plot lines to make “Maleficent,” in which Elle Fanning played the character of Princess Aurora.
Then came the 2015 live-action remake of Cinderella, which many fans considered the first proper Disney princess live-action film, and which Disney fans received with much anticipation and praise.
In this remake, the Cinderella role was played by Lily James, Prince Charming by Richard Madden, and the Fairy Godmother by Helena Bonham Carter.
Why Watson Turned Down The Role Of Cinderella
It was very important that Disney found the best actors and actresses for their live remakes, as it had a large impact on the success and popularity of the film.
For their remake of Cinderella, their top candidate for the role was Watson, and they offered her the position. However, she turned it down. According to a report by Buzzfeed, when she turned it down, she was not aware of her future prospects, the role of Belle in “Beauty and the Beast.”
She did not know that there was a live remake of this film in the works, but when she was offered the part, she knew that she wanted and could act the part of Belle better than Cinderella.
Turning down a guaranteed role like Cinderella was a very risky move, especially as there was no guarantee that she would have been offered the remake of “Beauty and the Beast,” but as fans can see years later, it was a decision that worked out in the best way possible.
Watson As Belle In Beauty And The Beast
The live-action remake of “Beauty and the Beast” came just two years after Cinderella and instantly became one of the highest-grossing films in history. Watson appeared as Belle alongside Dan Stevens as the Beast and stole the show.
She received many positive reviews and awards for her performance, and it took her acting career to new heights.
Director of the live-action remake, Bill Condon, was asked in an interview with ABC why Watson was picked for the role, and he said, “Emma Watson was our first -and really our only choice for Belle, and for a lot of reasons: her talent, her beauty, her intelligence.” He also expressed that he thought Watson and Belle were very similar because both are so strong and independent. He stated that he believes that Watson is “a twenty-first century, very strong female role model” for girls and women worldwide.
What Else Does Watson Do?
In addition to Watson’s successful acting career, she is also a proud and popular activist for women’s rights and feminism. She has devoted a lot of her time to several charitable causes and pursuits.
She heads the UN campaign called “HeForShe” which aims to bring more men into the fight for gender equality and improve gender equality all over the world.
Watson was appointed as a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador in 2014 in recognition of her humanitarian work in the area of increasing and improving girls’ education in Bangladesh and Zambia.
She also shared a similar trait with the Belle character; a love for books. Many people who have worked with her know that she is a total bookworm who occasionally hides books as surprises for her fans.
Her Instagram profile is a total giveaway for her bookworm nature as fans can see many pictures and videos of her with a book always nearby.