Between Hermione and Belle, Emma Watson is Hollywood's go-to girl for heroines who love to read. But ever since the cartoon Beauty and the Beast's release, people have been speculating that the tale is less of a romance as a psychological thriller about a woman in captivity who falls for her captor.
Asked about her take on Belle and the Beast's relationship, Emma Watson responded with her thoroughly well-researched take.
“It’s such a good question and it’s something I really grappled with at the beginning; the kind of Stockholm Syndrome question about this story,” she says. “That’s where a prisoner will take on the characteristics of and fall in love with the captor. Belle actively argues and disagrees with [Beast] constantly. She has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm Syndrome because she keeps her independence, she keeps that freedom of thought.”
While Belle is imprisoned early in Beauty and the Beast, Watson points out that she was not afraid to talk back and plot her escape.
Watson argues that Belle and Beast's story is, in fact, more progressive than traditional "love at first sight" fairy tales.
“Beast and Belle begin their love story really irritating each other and really not liking each other very much. They build a friendship, slowly, slowly, slowly, and very slowly that builds to them falling in love,” she explains. “They are having no illusions about who the other one is. They have seen the worst of one another, and they also bring out the best.”
Girl meets Beast, Girl rebels against Beast, Girl befriends Beast, Girl and Beast fall in love is a tale as old as time.