Emma Watson Responds To The ‘Beauty And The Beast’ Stockholm Syndrome Critique

As a singing dignified teapot once sang: It’s a tale as old as time. This applies to both Beauty and the Beast and questions about the uncomfortable Stockholm Syndrome-y romantic dynamic between said beauty and beast. Emma Watson has heard your concerns and can explain why the Disney’s live-action take on the story won’t have those issues.

The Hogwarts alum addressed the subject as the cover attraction for Entertainment Weekly. Watson, a UN Women Goodwill Ambassador, shared that she understands why an intimidating beast keeping a young woman inside isolated confines until they fall in love is a bit of an issue. (Y’know, because it is.)

“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 told EW. “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.”

Belle’s fighting spirit and independent bearing are stressed by Watson as being part of her character’s package in the motion picture. According to the actress, Belle is far from passive and is “giving [The Beast] hell.”

“In fact, she gives as good as she gets,” explains Watson. “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.’ I think that’s the other beautiful thing about the love story. 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.”

Opinions on that attitude may vary, but filmgoers will have the opportunity to see Watson’s take on Belle when Beauty and the Beast hits theaters on March 17.

(Via Entertainment Weekly)