Emma Watson Admits She 'Grappled' With the Idea that Belle Had Stockholm Syndrome in 'Beauty and the Beast'

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Photo: Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images
While taking on the role of Belle in Beauty and the Beast seems like a dream role, Emma Watson admits that she had some reservations about portraying the character in Disney's live-action musical.
In an interview with Entertainment Weekly, the Harry Potter star says she wrestled with the thought that Belle is a victim.
"It's something I really grappled with at the beginning: the Stockholm-syndrome question," she explains. "That's where a prisoner will take on the characteristics of and fall in love with the captor."
Upon further research into the fairy tale, Watson liked that Belle always pushes back with Beast. "She has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm syndrome because she keeps her independence; she keeps that freedom of thought," she explains. "I also think there is a very intentional switch where, in my mind, Belle decides to stay. She's giving him hell. There is no sense of 'I need to kill this guy with kindness,' or any sense that she deserves this. In fact, she gives as good as she gets. He bangs on the door, she bangs back. There's this defiance that 'You think I'm going to come and eat dinner with you and I'm your prisoner -- absolutely not.'"
In addition to chatting with EW, Watson also dropped some wisdom on a few unsuspecting commuters this week.
For the bargain price of $2, people walking through Grand Central Terminal in New York City on Tuesday had the opportunity to receive life advice from the 26-year-old actress via an iPad that was being carried by writer Derek Blasberg.
"So I just ‘ran’ into Emma Watson at Grand Central giving advice for $2 through an iPad booth… #welcometoNY #keepitweird #emmawatson," one onlooker shared on Instagram.

Watson will soon be busy promoting Beauty and the Beast, which hits theaters on March 17. ET recently spoke withthe film'sdirector, Bill Condon, about the actress' portrayal of Belle, and what she brought to the role that no other actress could.
"You know what it is? Belle was the most modern of Disney heroines, and it's who [Emma] is. It's the contemporary nature of her Belle, I think," Condon explained. "She takes that thing that was so fresh 25 years ago and brings it into our time. It's informed somewhat by her own work in real life, but also just the sense of being such a smart and fearless woman and the difficulty that that can create for somebody in fitting in."