Emma Watson Turned Down A Role As Cinderella Before Landing Belle In Beauty And The Beast

Lily James ended up taking it (and slaying it)
Getty Images

Emma Watson‘s role as Belle in upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast is one of the most eagerly awaited movies of the year. It’s little wonder too coz like Emma is the perfect Belle, her singing voice is on point in the teasers we’ve heard and Disney is freakin’ magic. But before this tale as old as time, Emma was in-line for the role of Cinderella! 

The 2015 live-action Cinderella starring Lily James was originally ear-marked for our girl Hermione, but she turned it down for the best reason. She told Total Film it just wasn’t where her heart lay: “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.”

We couldn’t agree more! Besides the hair colour, Emma just has the spirit that makes Belle one of our all-time fave Disney princesses (no offence Cindy). Emma agrees, saying of Belle: “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. 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.”

YES TO ALL THIS! But even Emma wanted to make some tweaks to Belle, and only agreed to come on board if it was a collaborative process with the director Bill Condon. And that’s how small changes like Belle being the inventor instead of her dad came about, because Emma wondered what Belle did “all day.”

Bring on March!!!

Related stories