Emma Watson Took Gloria Steinem As Her Guest To Watch The Final Cut Of 'Beauty And The Beast'

The 26-year-old British actress has opened up on receiving support from one of history's most important feminists ahead of the worldwide release of her latest film.

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When you're a multimillionaire actress with countless blockbuster films under your belt and the star of one of the highest-grossing film franchises of all time, you'd be forgiven for failing to seek a 'thumbs up' from industry experts, scholars and your closest family members for your latest cinematographic project.

However, when Emma Watson sat down to watch the final cut of the up-coming live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast for the first time, she decided it was imperative to have her mother, Jacqueline Luesby, and one of history's most heralded feminists, Gloria Steinem, sat on either side of her.

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'I couldn't care less if I won an Oscar or not if the movie didn't say something that I felt was important for people to hear,' she recently told Vanity Fair.

Revealing the film perfectly complimented the 26-year-old's feminist ideals, Steinem told the publication: 'It was fascinating that her activism could be so well mirrored by the film.

Referring to Watson's love of books and expanding her knowledge of the world, the 82-year-old journalist added: 'It's this love of literature that first bonds the Beauty to the Beast, and also what develops the entire story.'

However, if you're thinking Watson runs the risk of becoming a squeaky-clean, perfected ideal of a modern-feminist, what with her devotion to wearing ethically-sourced fashion, her work on her online book club, Our Shared Shelf, which recommends literature to its 168,000 members every two months, and her endless support for the HeForShe campaign as a UN Women goodwill ambassador, you can think again.

It was fascinating that her activism could be so well mirrored by the film.

Gloria Steinem
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In the article, Steinem defends Watson's ongoing activism to say: 'Let me ask you something: If you did a story on a young male actor who was very private and involved in activism, would you think he was too severe or serious? Why do women always have to be listeners? Emma is interested in the world, she is caring, and though she is active she is also joyous and informed.

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'It's possible to be both serious and fun, you know,' she adds.

In the lead up to the release of the film – out Friday 17 March – the 26-year-old actress – who spoke out against accusation's Belle has Stockholm Syndrome in the film – has been unapologetically vocal in discussing the way she's helped craft the role of Belle into a feminist role model.

Why do women always have to be listeners?

Having previously turned down the part of Cinderella, explaining the character didn't 'resonate' with her, Watson told Total Film magazine that she wanted to portray Belle as a figure for feminism, so she could be 'the kind of woman I would want to embody as a role model'.

As a result, the former Harry Potter star worked alongside the film's costume designer, Jacqueline Durran, to incorporate several 'feminist' elements to her costumes.

'I was like, 'The first shot of the movie cannot be Belle walking out of this quiet little town carrying a basket with a white napkin in it. We need to rev things up!' she told Vanity Fair.

While the 1991 original film sees Belle as an assistant to her inventor father, Watson was keen to show her as an engineer in her own right, and therefore collaborated with Durran to incorporate pockets in her costume that work as a 'kind of like a tool belt', according to the star.

We need to rev things up!

Likewise, when it came to Belle's footwear, Watson was quick to mention that while ballet shoes 'are lovely' they're not so practical when it comes to riding horseback.

Helping to create Belle's first pair of riding boots, the actress explains: '[Belle isn't] going to be able to do anything terribly useful in ballet shoes in the middle of a French provincial village.'

Hear, hear.

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