PARADE | There’s something about Beauty and the Beast and its story of true love and courage that’s made it beloved for generations, especially since Disney brought the 1700s French fairy tale to the big screen as a sweeping animated movie musical in 1991.
This week, Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star—as the Beauty and the Beast—in a brand-new Disney version combining live actors, real settings and eye-popping computer animation.
The anticipation has been mounting since the project was first announced: More advance tickets for this Beauty and the Beast have been sold than for any other family film in history, according to online ticket vendor Fandango. As fans count down the days to March 17, they’ve been streaming advance soundtrack tunes, such as Ariana Grande and John Legend’s new version of the movie’s theme song.
In addition to Ariana Grande and John Legend performing the new film’s signature song, Céline Dion (who originally performed the Grammy-winning duet “Beauty and the Beast” with Peabo Bryson in 1991) performs a new original song, “How Does a Moment Last Forever,” composed by Alan Menken, one of the writers of the original score.
Some of Howard Ashman’s original lyrics from the songs “Gaston” and “Beauty and the Beast” that weren’t used in 1991 have been added back. The brokenhearted Beast sings a new ballad, “Evermore,” after releasing Belle from the castle to rejoin her father.
Ewan McGregor (Lumière) sings the extravagant “Be Our Guest.” And Belle gets a new song too. “It’s only a verse and a little bit of a chorus, but it’s very beautiful,” Emma Watson says. “We expand a bit on Belle’s past and see the story of her life before she goes to the castle. It’s a really lovely extra detail that wasn’t in the original.”
The 1991 Beauty and the Beast was the first animated feature to receive an Academy Award nomination for best picture. (It actually won two Oscars, for original song and original score.) That set the bar high for the new version, which was carefully reimagined to honor and expand on its predecessor.
The tale of Beauty and the Beast endures because it’s universally appealing, says the new film’s Oscar-winning director, Bill Condon, 61, whose résumé includes Dreamgirls, Gods and Monsters and two movies in the Twilight franchise. “The idea of looking beyond the surface of things and finding the beauty underneath is one of the film’s legacies,” he says.
For Stevens, 34, who was Downton Abbey’s Matthew Crawley, the process of retelling a well-known, centuries-old tale—and embodying the Beast—was magical.
“It’s an alchemical process,” he says. “The original was a landmark film that contains a lot of the big questions about our identities, who we are, what we’re afraid of and what parts of our nature we should act on. It covers big themes and it’s able to contain some big ideas in a beautiful setting.”
The film doesn’t radically depart from the animated version, Condon says, “but it does resolve some intriguing questions left unanswered in the first. It gives you more, specifically where the Beast and Belle fall in love.”
The love story was only part of the attraction for Watson, 26. “The original was romantic, but in a way that didn’t feel contrived the way other fairy tales sometimes are,” she says.
Besides being a love story with a feminist bent, “it’s an action movie with huge amounts of stunts, wolf-fighting, horse-riding, guns and swordfights,” Watson says. “It’s also a romantic drama. And then there’s music and dance on top of that. On the other hand, it’s a comedy too. The comic timing of characters like Cogsworth and Lumière and Mrs. Potts—it’s just hysterical.”
“I think this version might be funnier than the original because of Josh Gad and Kevin Kline,” says Gugu Mbatha-Raw, 33, who plays Plumette, the castle’s maid who becomes a feather duster. “They’re a really funny double act!”
Mbatha-Raw also admires Belle’s spirit. “I loved that she was smart and bookish and didn’t fit in with the village,” she says. “She wasn’t privileged. She knew her own mind. I thought that was cool.”
Condon believes Beauty and the Beast will always be cool. In the end, it’s the weaving of the old and new in this beloved story that will captivate audiences, he says.
“People introduced the animated film to their own children, and the musical is still being performed all over the world. We’ve always had Beauty and the Beast around us, but that’s also because people remain so drawn to it.”
It is, indeed, a tale as old as time.
Beauty and the Beast was shot in the United Kingdom over the course of four months. The adaptation sets the story in mid-18th-century France so every set, prop and costume is sumptuously authentic to that era. Some details:
- The ballroom features 12,000 square feet of faux marble and 10 glass chandeliers modeled on actual chandeliers from Versailles.
- 1,500 red roses and 8,700 candles (or 104,400 inches of wax) were used as set decoration.
- The enchanted forest took 15 weeks to complete. It featured live trees, hedges, a frozen lake and 20,000 icicles.
Into The Gloss just shared an article where Emma reveals all about her beauty routine! It’s a good read, and it came with two gorgeous photos of our Belle, photographed by Olivia Richardson in London on December 16, 2016. You can read her article below (and check out the original source for some beautiful photos of the products), and the new photos are in our gallery!
INTO THE GLOSS | “There’s something about looking into someone else’s makeup bag—it’s such an intimate glimpse into their personality somehow. When I was a kid and working on Harry Potter, I would always ask the makeup artists, or just anyone, ‘Can I see your makeup bag?’ I loved exploring that way. And my other favorite thing was, while I was having my hair and makeup done, to clean and organize people’s makeup bags. So I would sit there and clean every product and put it all back together again. Anyway, it’s been a passion of mine for a long time. Recently I’ve become super interested in sustainability and transparency and understanding what I’m putting on my face and on my body. It’s been a fun little mission to see how far I can go with it… Can I create a completely sustainable wardrobe? Can I dress sustainably on the red carpet? Can I put together a hair and makeup look with completely organic products? I needed to figure out if it was achievable or not. You can’t talk the talk if you don’t walk the walk. So that’s what I’ve been discovering over the past couple of years.
At first, I didn’t really know the answer. I was doing all this research and came across Content, a cute little shop on the Marylebone High Street. Every week, I would go back and try something different, until one of the girls who works there asked if I wanted to meet Imelda Burke, who runs the store. So I went for lunch with Imelda and we became really close friends. Now I’m lucky enough to be able to text her and ask about any product I find—if she knows if it’s organic or natural or clean and all that. She actually just came out with her own book, which is amazing because she’s just done an insane amount of research. The other way I find out about a lot of my products is on Instagram. I just keep a beady eye out really… I’m like a magpie running around trying out new products. Most of my routine keeps to an 80/20 philosophy because it’s very difficult to be a complete purist, especially when working in the film industry. You can end up driving yourself a bit mad and make it more stressful than it should be. Sometimes you just need a mascara to be waterproof and that’s OK.Read More
Disney’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast has quickly become one of the most eagerly anticipated movies in history, smashing records when its first trailer racked up more than 127 million views in just 24 hours last November.
While the reimagined romantic classic, featuring Emma Watson and former Downton Abbey star Dan Stevens, might seem like the ultimate celebration of heterosexual love, it’s actually harbouring a treasure trove of gay secrets – and is set to make history with Disney’s first ever “exclusively gay moment” on film.
As Emma and Dan sit down with Attitude for our brand new April issue – available to download now and in shops today (March 1) – director Bill Condon reveals the heartbreaking true story that helped shape the 1991 film, and how it inspired him to create a character who would break new ground when it comes to LGBT visibility on screen.
Since her years as Hermione ended, Emma Watson has fought to assert her own identity. Now that she has found her voice—most notably as a U.N. ambassador—she’s revamping a classic stereotype, the Disney princess, in Beauty and the Beast, the live-action musical coming out in March. Watson talks to Vanity Fair about her metamorphosis from child star to leading woman.
Emma Watson and I are standing on the 23rd Street platform of an uptown-bound E train in New York City and we’re littering. Literally. And literature-ly. The 26-year-old actress is scattering hardcover copies of Maya Angelou’s book Mom & Me & Mom throughout the station—tucking them between pipes, placing them on benches, atop the emergency call box—in hopes that New York commuters will pick them up and put down their smartphones. This display of civil disobedience was conceived by Books on the Underground, a London-based organization that plants books on public transportation for travelers to discover. “We’re being ninjas,” she says with a conspiratorial grin as she digs in a big black rucksack of books. “If there were anyone to be a ninja for, it’d be Maya Angelou.”
Watson is one of the most famous women in the world, the child star who skyrocketed to global fame at the age of 11 playing brainy Hermione Granger in the Harry Potter movies. Next month, she’s back on the big screen as Belle in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, the big-budget live-action musical—she sings too!—which broke the record for most viewed new movie trailer. (That’s 127 million views in its first 24 hours, beating Fifty Shades Darker’s record.) But today she’s makeup-free, her hair shoved into a bun, and she’s wearing a nondescript dark wool coat over a baggy black sweater, completely blending in with New York’s distracted mass-transit masses.Read More
Hello Watson fans! We bring you scans from the March issue of Elle UK, which Emma covers, along with some drop dead gorgeous additional outtakes!
British Actress Emma Watson – who is not only globally renowned for her impressive acting career, but also for her powerful campaigning for gender equality – is back on the cover of ELLE UK.
Yes, the activist returns.
And in celebration of her achievements, ELLE UK will award Watson the prestigious Woman of the Year Award at the ELLE Style Awards 2017, next Monday.
In the March issue of ELLE UK, Emma talks to Lorraine Candy about why being cast as Belle in the upcoming film Beauty and the Beast was the perfect opportunity for her. She reveals why it was important to her to take a year out to concentrate on her activism, and she discusses setting up her feminist book club, named Our Shared Shelf.
On taking a year off from acting to concentrate on activism:
‘It wasn’t about me necessarily proving anything… I was just thinking that I have this year to myself, so let’s see what we can do to ‘move the needle’ and make a difference.’
On her role as Belle in Beauty and the Beast:
‘For me, Beauty was the perfect, most joyful thing to do… There was something connected about Hermione and Belle, and it was good to be reminded that I am an actress; this is what I do. The film is pure escapism.’Read More
We bring you scans from the January issue of Better Photography, that features Emma on the cover along with additional outtakes from the photo session she did in 2015 for Vogue Italia.
Hello Watson fans! If you remember, we made a post last week about how Beauty and The Beast were the cover of the November 11 issue of Entertainment Weekly. We bring you now scans from that particular issue, that you can find in our gallery!
Emma is featured on the December issue of Harper’s Bazaar UK, where it’s mentioned not only her projects as an actress but also as an activist and ambassor. Scans can be found in our gallery.
Photo sessions and magazine scans featuring Emma from this year so far have been added to our gallery! Make sure to check it out by clicking on the links bellow.