Disney’s Beauty and the Beast characters come alive again in a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic featuring an extraordinary ensemble cast, including, Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans,Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Hattie Morahan and Nathan Mack with Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.
Emma Watson was the first to join the production as Belle, the shrewd villager who yearns for adventure. Emma has charmed audiences playing the quick-witted and tenacious Hogwarts student Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter films and also made a mark through her performance in films including The Perks of Being a Wallflower (2012), Noah (2014) and The Bling Ring (2013).
In addition, she has a highly-visible role as a human rights activist and global goodwill ambassador for the United Nations, something which has become her life’s calling. Of all the female characters in all the Disney films, she has always been drawn to — and most identifies with — Belle.
“I have loved Beauty and the Beast since I was four,” she says. “I remember Belle as this feisty young woman who spoke her mind and had these ambitions and was incredibly independent and wanted to see the world.
And she had this relationship with the Beast where they were just toe-to-toe and that, to me, just seemed like such a terrific dynamic and interesting kind of relationship that I’d never seen before in a fairytale.”
Beauty and the Beast releases on March 17.