This Beauty Doesn’t Need a Beast

By: Malena Esposito

It’s a tale as old as time, or so you thought.

Later this month, Emma Watson will be bringing the iconic bookworm to theaters in the live-action remake of the timeless classic, Beauty and the Beast. Watson is best known for her decade-long role as Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter series as well as her work towards feminism as the U.N. Women’s Goodwill Ambassador. In the March issue of Vanity Fair magazine, she admitted that although she initially was skeptical about playing a princess, she spoke with her mother on how she could bring her views into the film to make Belle a more independent and resourceful character in the March issue of Vanity Fair

“The first shot of the movie cannot be Belle walking out of this quiet little town carrying a basket with a white napkin in it!” she exclaimed, saying how they needed to “rev things up.” In the issue, Watson revealed that the Beauty would develop a modern washing machine, allowing her to do the laundry while she reads. The princess would also no longer be sporting the classic ballet shoes. “[They were] lovely — don’t get me wrong — but she’s not going to be able to do anything terribly useful,” the actress stated. Belle can now be expected to be wearing riding boots during the movie, which premieres March 17th. Emma also confessed that she “couldn’t care less if [she] won an Oscar or not if the movie didn’t say something that [she] thought was important for people to hear.” In 2016, she told Paper magazine that following the production, she will be taking a break from acting to “engage in feminism with people who wouldn’t normally”.

Beauty and the Beast will also be breaking tradition by introducing the first openly gay Disney character. In an interview with Attitude magazine, director Bill Condon revealed that Gaston’s sidekick, LeFou, will be “exploring his sexuality” in a “small but significant” subplot. “He’s confused about what he wants,” Condon elaborated. “LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston.” He also disclosed how Disney is using their international success to their advantage, saying that “The studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural – and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where it’s still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay.”

Additionally, the film will also be showing Disney’s first interracial kiss, something Bill Condon said he “didn’t give a second thought.” On BBC Radio 4’s FrontRow, he let slip that a budding romance occurs between the piano, Cadenza (Stanley Tucci) and the wardrobe, Madame de Garderobe. After watching the preview, the Disney chairman told the director they were excited because “it hadn’t happened before,’’ a fact which Condon was unaware of.

Beauty and the Beast will premiere on March 17th, 2017, twenty-five years after the world first fell in love with the girl whose nose was stuck in a book.