Emma Watson has revealed she turned down the role of Cinderella in Kenneth Branagh's 2015 live-action remake because she felt the fairytale character "didn't resonate" with her. The 26-year-old will, however, next be seen on the big screen playing another beloved Disney character, Belle, in the upcoming Beauty and the Beast movie, and she explained her decision for doing so in a new interview with Total Film magazine.
"I didn't know they were going to make Beauty and the Beast at the time I turned down Cinderella," the Harry Potter star said. "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."
The role of Cinderella was eventually played by Downton Abbey actress Lily James. Speaking about her new character, Emma added: "It's going to become very difficult to do projects where I feel like my values are at odds with what’s going on around me."
"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 continued. "In a strange way, she challenges the status quo of the place she lives in, and I found that really inspiring. And also, she manages to keep her integrity and have a completely independent point of view."
Directed by Bill Condon, Beauty and the Beast will also stars Downton Abbey actor Dan Stevens as the Beast, along with Ewan McGregor and Ian McKellen as the iconic Lumiere and Cogsworth. Emma Thompson will voice Mrs. Potts, while Stanley Tucci will take on the role of Cadenza.
Beauty And The Beast will be released in cinemas on March 17