I didn't know they were going to make Beauty and the Beast at the time I turned down Cinderella, 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. 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.
The latest issue of Total Film is on newsstands now and you can view the full article here from Emma Watson Updates.
Source: Total Film, Emma Watson Updates, E! News