Belle Beauty and the Beast Emma Watson Cinderella

Emma Watson as Belle

photo: Instagram/entertainmentweekly

Emma Watson will portray Belle in Disney's forthcoming live-action adaptation of "Beauty & the Beast." However, once upon a time, the 26-year-old turned down the chance to bring another Disney princess to life.

In an interview with Total Film Magazine, the "Harry Potter" actress revealed that she'd refused the opportunity to play Cinderella in Kenneth Branagh's 2015 remake. Watson wasn't impressed by Cinderella while Belle aligned "so much more" with her feminist commitments.

"I didn't know they were going to make 'Beauty and the Beast' at the time I turned down 'Cinderella,'" she told Total Film Magazine. "But when they offered me Belle, I just felt the character resonated with me so much more than Cinderella did. 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."

Even though Watson related more to Belle, she still wasn't comfortable with the way the character is portrayed in Disney's fairytale.

In the original movie, Belle is a bookworm while her father, Maurice, is an inventor. Watson worked with director Bill Condon to reshape the character's career.

"In the animated movie, it's her father who is the inventor, and we actually co-opted that for Belle," Watson told Entertainment Weekly. "I was like, 'Well, there was never very much information or detail at the beginning of the story as to why Belle didn't fit in, other than she liked books. Also what is she doing with her time?' So, we created a backstory for her, which was that she had invented a kind of washing machine, so that, instead of doing laundry, she could sit and use that time to read instead. So, yeah, we made Belle an inventor."

The iconic Disney princess is now more unapologetically feminist than she's been in previous renditions. The United Nations ambassador would have it no other way.

#BeOurGuest and see an all-new look at Beauty and the Beast tonight during the #GoldenGlobes ????

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"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 told Total Film Magazine. "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 fearmongering or scapegoating."

Agency and independence as part of the Disney canon? Now, that's a heroine any feminist can champion.

Main Image: Instagram/entertainmentweekly