Get to know Beauty and the Beast’s Belle, Emma Watson #BeOurGuest

Posted on: March 13th, 2017 by

I was honored to be invited to the #BeOurGuestEvent, a Disney press junket for Beauty and the Beast, Moana Bluray, and other Disney and ABC TV programming. As a guest, my expenses were covered in return for a series of articles about my experiences and reviews of the programming.

 

Disney Beauty and the Beast Be Our Guest Press Junket

 

Last week, I started sharing the experiences I had during a magical few days in LA to celebrate not only the release of Beauty and the Beast in theaters, but also a number of other Disney movies and shows as well as ABC shows being launched or returning to TV. You can find all our stories, past and upcoming by clicking on #BeOurGuestEvent.

 

The Beauty and the Beast Belle, Emma Watson

 

Today, I am enthusiastically sharing how our interview with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens went. They have such an amazing chemistry both on and off screen that I was truly impressed. In fact, I learned so much from them two of them, that I hope you don’t mind I had to break the information into two blog posts. Here, I’ll share about Beauty and the Beast’s Belle, Emma Watson. You can click, here to learn about Beauty and the Beast’s Beast, Dan Steven. Beauty and the Beast is available in theaters nationwide beginning this Friday, March 17, 2017.

 

Avoid waiting in lines at the theater or having tickets sold out. Buy your Beauty and the Beast tickets in advance by clicking HERE to buy your tickets through Fandango.

 

It would be a day full on interviews for Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as they went room to room meeting with reporters. Yet when they both entered our interview room shortly after lunch they were all smiles. We greeted them with cheers and applause. Emma responded saying, “That’s the nicest welcome we’ve had.” I knew, at that moment, this was going to be a special interview and it certainly was.

 

Emma Watson during Beauty and the Beast interview in Beverly Hills, Montage Hotel

Emma says, about our applause when she walked into our room for the interview, “That’s the nicest welcome we’ve had.” Photo Credit Coralie Hughes Seright, LovebugsAndPostcards.com

 

How did Emma Watson audition for the role of the Beauty and the Beast’s Belle?

Emma explains how key to her being able to take on the role of Belle was whether or not she could sing. She explains, “I think that was the major question mark.” Emma told us about taking some time to prep and put together an audition tape, “I went away and I did that classic thing of waiting on tentative hooks to get the call, and to hear whether or not it was up to standard and thankfully it was, so I got offered the role which was just very, very exciting.”

 

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens during Beauty and the Beast interview at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA

Photo taken during our interview session with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Photo Credit Coralie Hughes Seright, LovebugsAndPostcards.com

 

What was Emma Watson’s reaction to wearing Belle’s dress and other costumes?

We couldn’t have an interview with Emma Watson and not ask about the dress. First, we asked what was it like to wear that dress. Emma says, “It was kind of amazing. I think because Belle, it’s a fairy tale; I play kind of an archetype. She’s more of a symbol,” Emma continued, “[It’s] kind of the way that I got into character, [that] I sort of started to feel like I was understanding her really well, was through her costume, so it was working on putting together the boots that she wore and she had these slightly scruffy socks, and she had the bloomers underneath her skirt which meant that she could swing her leg over a horse.”

 

Then they were “creating the kind of tool belt that she has on for when she’s inventing things, and it will carry her books and, all these little details. She actually has a ring on this finger which [is like] one that I wear which is from my mom, and all these tiny things, I really felt like I was starting to get to know her, so her costume was really important for me.”

 

Beauty and the Beast scene with Belle

Belle (Emma Watson) in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon.

 

Here’s a look at Emma Watson as Belle in this Beauty and the Beast musical video clip from the movie

 

How did Emma Watson get to influence the character of Belle and the Beauty and the Beast storyline?

Emma Watson grew up loving Belle. Belle was her favorite princess. She shares many of the characteristics of Belle, including her love for reading. When Emma took on the role of Belle, it was as important to her as it was to the directors that the development of Belle’s character stayed true to the original storyline. Emma explains it like this.

 

“There was talk at the beginning, of a wedding perhaps at the end, and that had not been in the original, and I said, ‘can I just point out this isn’t in the original?’ We need to stay faithful to the original, and I felt strongly about that. I felt very strongly that she needed to have a vocation to fill her time with.”

 

So we kind of co-opted what was originally kind of crazy ole Maurice’s identity, and I was like, well, that’s not the direction that Kevin’s taking the role in. Could I co-opt that for Bell, and we had her design this washing machine that allows her to have more time to read and to teach. {It’s a great scene in the movie (my opinion)} That was super important to me.

 

She’s one of the few Disney young women who actually isn’t a princess. She’s an ordinary girl from an ordinary village and, and that’s very important about her: she has no aspirations to be a princess. She has no aspirations to marry a prince. And so there was a line in the movie, originally, when Audra, the chest of drawers says to me, oh you know, we’ll make you a gown fit for a princess, and [it didn’t feel right]. I asked Bill, could I say actually, I’m not a princess?

 

And he was like, yeah, sure.  And so just like little things like that where I just felt like I was protecting and defending Belle’s sort of original DNA and just making sure that we stay truthful and, and faithful to this very independent young woman.

 

Beauty and the Beast scene with Belle and her father

Scene from Beauty and the Beast. Photo Credit: Disney

 

How did Emma Watson get to influence the Belle’s dress?

Can you imagine being able to help design an iconic dress, one that little girls everywhere would dream of wearing? We couldn’t help but want to know more about Belle’s dress, so we asked Emma more about it and if she got to help with the creation of it. Not only did she share her response, but it seems Dan Steven’s daughter did too. You can read about that in our accompanying article, Get to know Beauty and the Beast’s Beast, Dan Stevens. Here’s how Emma Watson explained being involved with the making of Belle’s dress.

 

“I was very heavily involved in the dress. Trying to get the dress right was really difficult because we needed to dress her to serve a number of different purposes and functions. It needed to be of the period, so originally we started off with a seventeenth century traditional dress, but then we realized that it didn’t do that really cute twirly thing that it does in the animation, when the dress, spins behind her?”

 

Beauty and the Beast Belle's dress

From an exhibit at Disney parks. Photo credit Erica Chao‎, Mama’s Mission

 

“We were like, it has to do that, otherwise it’s not right. So we’re were back to the drawing board. It’s gotta twirl. All right, so it can’t be quite seventeenth century, the bottom’s gotta be different, so let me try another version of it, which kind of did have that movement. It needed lightness, so we made it out of chiffon, and then we were like, she’s also gotta ride a horse in it, and she’s gotta be able to go into the third part of the movie where she goes back to see her father. It needs to feel like an action hero dress which is why the front of the dress looks a bit like a coat of armor.”

 

“It’s got gold flecks in it: it had that kind of warrior element to it, as well. We kind of created a warrior, modern seventeenth century twisty, twirly dress hybrid.”

 

Beauty and the Beast ballroom scene

Emma Watson as Belle in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s classic animated film.

 

What advice does Emma Watson have for girls that feel different and odd?

Emma Watson has been such an inspirational role model for young women both on screen and off. It was only natural that another blogger on our #BeOurGuestEvent press junket would ask her about it and what advice Emma has for young women. Emma’s answer is one I believe all of us can relate to.

“I think- what I remember being so torturous, about school was that it is your whole world. It’s like this microcosm; the people that are in your class, that’s your entire universe. That is your planet, and if you don’t fit with that, with those however many people are in your class, it’s miserable.”

 

“I think what my mom said to me was that, it might feel like the end of the world right now, that you don’t quite fit [in], but one day, you might be really grateful for that. And it’s very hard to see at the time but there’s a big, wide world out there with people who have diverse interests, and perspectives, and opinions. You kind of have to just go out there and find your tribe; find your kindred spirits; find the people that resonate with you and that you feel at home with.”

 

“It takes a bit of persistence, and it doesn’t necessarily come overnight and really easily, but actually when I look back on not feeling like I fitted [in] at school, I’m really grateful that I didn’t because I don’t really want to be like any of the cool girls in my class anymore. To be honest, I’m glad that I was different. I’m glad that I was a bit odd and I didn’t really fit in. Obviously, all of this is easy to say in retrospect, I hope that’s helpful.”

 

Beauty and the Beast Emma Watson and Dan Stevens

Photo taken during our interview session with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Photo Credit Coralie Hughes Seright, LovebugsAndPostcards.com

 

Emma Watson’s book club & book recommendations

Knowing what an extensive collection of books Emma Watson has read, we wanted to know what books she would recommend for young women. Emma knows her books so well that she tailors her answer and recommendations to the age of the reader. After some back and forth, we learned what books Emma would recommend for middle school girls, from ages 9 to 13. We also learned how Emma would love to see literature change in the coming years.

 

“That’s a really good question. I think that’s actually something I’ve been trying to explore more, recently.  Judy Bloom’s, Are You There God? It’s Me, Margaret is fantastic. (You can order the Judy Blume Essentials book collection here with our affiliate link to Amazon.) I think, for me, the biggest thing is, and it had never occurred to me, which seems ridiculous now, it never occurred to me how few female authors there were on my English literature curriculum, and I’m an English literature major.”

 

“When I look back, I’m shocked by how few there were. I guess I would say that part of it is the content that, that’s important, but I think all – that another part of it is making educators and children, children themselves aware of- are we including women’s voices in our curriculum? Are we celebrating female authors? Are we celebrating female artists? Is there any balance there? I think that’s also half of the battle.”

 

Emma Watson has a feminist book club called “Our Shared Shelf”. Click over to Goodreads to learn more about how you can join Emma Watson’s book club.

 

What Emma Watson wants your children to take away from watching Beauty and the Beast

In our final moments with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens we asked them about what do they want children to take away from watching Beauty and the Beast. You can read about Dan’s answer in our accompanying article, Get to know Beauty and the Beast’s Beast, Dan Stevens.

 

“I think as a child, I had a very hard time working out why people weren’t kind to other people, and trying to understand: I think what is so beautiful about Belle is that she’s so nonjudgmental. It’s her ability to see beyond the surface of things and to understand that everyone has a story, and you don’t always know what that story is, and to look deeper into things before you make a judgement.”

 

There’s a kind of like a compassion and empathy there which I think is kind of a relief because I don’t think anyone is inherently evil. I think there’s light and dark in everyone, and I think that she {Belle} symbolizes that very well.

 

Beauty and the Beast Belle Emma Watson

Photo taken during our interview session with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens. Photo Credit Coralie Hughes Seright, LovebugsAndPostcards.com

 

You can learn more about Emma Watson and her role as Belle in this Facebook Live video done for Entertainment Weekly and Sirius FM.

 

It was really interesting to be part of a group interview with Emma Watson. While our session went by quickly, I was captivated by her answers. She engaged with us and at times even had questions for us. I could have sat there all day just talking with both her and Dan Stevens. Remember, you can click over to here, to read about our interview with Dan Stevens.

 

Beaty and the Beast press junket group photo with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens

Photo taken during our interview session with Emma Watson and Dan Stevens.

 

Beauty And The Beast belleWatch Beauty and the Beast THIS FRIDAY at your local theater!

 

Tomorrow, our #BeOurGuestEvent series continues with a look at our hilarious interview with Luke Evans and Josh Gad. You can get caught up with our #BeOurGuestEvent series anytime by clicking on #BeOurGuestEvent.

 

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