The premiere of Disney”s live-action take on Beauty and the Beast is just over six months away, and the new Belle has yet to have a face-to-face encounter with the original Belle.
Paige O”Hara, who voiced the kindhearted, book-loving Disney princess in the animated movie, hasn“t met Emma Watson, but she told me, “I can”t wait to meet her,” when I interviewed the Disney icon last week. Most of my chat with her and Belle lead animator Mark Henn was about the 1991 film for its 25th anniversary Blu-ray release (I”ll have more of that interview to share with you later), but we also looked forward to the upcoming live-action movie.
“She”s perfect casting,” O”Hara gushed about the Harry Potter alum. Watson got her predecessor”s stamp of approval earlier this year when O”Hara told BuzzFeed, “She”s got the outward beauty, but she”s also got an inward beauty about her, and an old soul.” I just had to ask O”Hara if she has any advice for Watson as she”s gearing for Beauty and the Beast“s release.
“Me? Giving Emma advice?” O”Hara laughed. “Oh, gosh.”
Emma Watson already conquered the task of taking on a much-beloved character when she brought Hermione Granger to the big screen. Surely, though, it wouldn”t hurt to have a bit of wisdom from the actress who gave an iconic performance of Belle before her? O”Hara did end up offering up some advice for the 26-year-old Brit:
“As I”m passing the torch to Emma – just enjoy the ride. You”re going to be a heroine. You are already with all your other movies, but this one”s going to last your entire life. When you”re my age, you're going to be looking back at doing Beauty and the Beast.”
Disney”s live-action Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters on March 17, 2017.