Emma Watson was originally offered the role of Cinderella for Kenneth Branagh’s live action remake of the Disney movie, but turned it down before taking on the role as Belle from Beauty and the Beast. The British star rejected the role because she wanted “so much more” for her character and for it to be inspiring.  But while she describes Belle as having “empowering defiance” and a role model, Emma told Total Film that she did have concerns about the script and worked collaboratively with the movie’s director Bill Condon.

The UN ambassador accepted the role after they agreed to work with her on the character. Part of Emma’s input was to give Belle a job as an inventor like her father.


“I didn’t know they were going to make Beauty And The Beast at the time I turned down Cinderella,” she said.

“But when they offered me Belle, I just felt the character resonated with me so much more than Cinderella did.”

While the role of Cinderella eventually went to Downton Abbey’s Lily James, Emma goes on to say that she would want to be like Belle which is why this character worked better. “She remains curious, compassionate and open-minded,” she said. “And that’s the kind of woman I would want to embody as a role model, given the choice.”



It would seem that the former Harry Potter star is very passionate about the character of Belle, who falls in love with the Beast despite all odds.

“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,” she said.