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Emma Watson on what motivates Belle to want to leave her provincial town

Emma Watson is on the cover of this week’s Entertainment Weekly as part of the lead-up to the premiere of Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” next month. The movie is a live-action adaption of the 1991 animated Disney class. And now we’re learning just how loose or faithful the adaption may be.

(Btw, thar be spoilers ahead)

In the interview, Emma Watson talks some about the motivations of her character, Belle. The new movie has Belle really searching for ‘more than this provincial life’ for a good reason – the closed mindedness of people of the town. After a certain age only boys in the town receive an education while girls have to do laundry (something you notice in the opening song which you can catch at the Disney Parks sneak peek). Belle decides this isn’t right and begins to teach a girl how to read. That’s considered dangerous and subversive by the townspeople.

There’s even more that makes Belle’s backstory a little darker than the animated fairy tale, but then that’s life, isn’t it – no fairy tale. In the movie Belle is also an inventor. She invents a washing machine that will save the women of the town a lot of work, but rather than embrace Belle’s vision they destroy her work.

It’s as if the town sees Belle as a threat, says director Bill Condon. “It’s that thing that remains under the surface. But when there’s a real threat that unifies everybody, they start to look for other people who make them uncomfortable. That’s a pretty common pattern.”

“They don’t think women should read and it goes further than that,” Watson says. “They are deeply suspicious of intelligence. Breaking the washing machine is symbolic of not just them breaking something she spent hours working on, but them really trying to break her spirit and trying to push her and mold her into a more ‘acceptable’ version of herself.”

Who is the beauty and who is the beast seems to be a theme that will develop in the new theme. The beast as played by Dan Stevens does have something different about him. He’s sensitive and has an intellegence that sets him apart from the villagers, and especially Gaston.

Watch more of the interview on the EW website.

Meanwhile, watch this international trailer for Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and tell us what you think?