Hey, all you folks who are overjoyed that you're about to see Emma Watson play Belle in Beauty and the Beast: Did you know she turned down the part of Cinderella in another of Disney's recent live-action remakes? (It went to Lily James, of Downton Abbey.)
That said, Watson didn't know Beauty was on the horizon when she said no to the part of the glass-slippered woman who She's All That–ed her way into storybook history. "But when they offered me Belle," Watson tells Total Film (via E! News), "I just felt the character resonated with me so much more than Cinderella did."
Watson, the one role model to rule them all, said she sees Belle as a better example:
"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 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 fear-mongering or scapegoating."
Also, she wasn't just straight-up on board with the Disney remake, telling Total Film she had "concerns" about what she first read. She took the role along with an agreement she could collaborate with director Bill Condon (Dreamgirls, The Twilight Saga: Breaking Dawn – Part 1 and 2) on developing Belle.
Beauty and the Beast, co-starring Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald, Emma Thompson and Josh Gad, hits theaters March 17. You can see a sneak peek of Watson singing "Belle" here, and listen to an episode of Fuse's nostalgia-doused Besterday podcast here: