Beauty And The Beast Emma Watson has denied that her character Belle has Stockholm Syndrome, despite the plot seeing her fall in love with the man – or beast – who imprisoned her.
Stockholm Syndrome is a psychological condition that causes victims to develop feelings for their kidnappers, and could easily be applied to Belle, who’s held captive by he Beast in his castle.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Emma Watson says she doesn’t think that’s the case.
“It’s such a good question and it’s something I really grappled with at the beginning,” she said. “That’s where a prisoner will take on the characteristics of and fall in love with the captor. Belle actively argues and disagrees with [the Beast] constantly. She has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm Syndrome because she keeps her independence, she keeps that freedom of thought.
“She gives as good as she gets,” added Watson. “They form a friendship first and that gap in the middle where there is this genuine sharing, the love builds out of that, which in many ways I actually think is more meaningful than a lot of love stories, where it was love at first sight.”
John Legend and Ariana Grande have recorded the theme song for the new film.
Watson also previously spoke about how she and director Bill Condon had worked to give Belle a feminist makeover. “In the animated movie, it’s her father who is the inventor, and we actually co-opted that for Belle,” Watson told Entertainment Weekly in November 2016.
Composers Tim Rice and Alan Menken – the latter of whom worked on Disney’s original 1991 animated film – will write the music for the live-action remake, which is due out on March 17. Watch the trailer here.