A modern-day princess! The cast of the live-action Beauty and the Beast remake can’t help gushing over the movie’s leading lady in a new featurette for the film, available to watch above.
“Belle really dominated and characterized a huge part of my childhood and my growing up,” says Emma Watson, who plays the iconic Disney princess. “I know what she meant to me as a young girl. When you love something that much, you really want to do it justice.”
Her costars have just as much adoration for the book-loving beauty. “Her thirst for knowledge, her imagination, [and] her curiosity makes a fearless heroine,” says Dan Stevens, the actor behind the cursed prince, a.k.a. the Beast.
Even Josh Gad, whose character LeFou sides with the onscreen villain, can’t help raving about the importance of Watson’s progressive portrayal of the princess. “Emma as Belle empowers a whole new generation of girls,” he says in the featurette. “This Belle not only embraces her sense of wonder but takes it to a whole new level.”
Gad’s character also sends a positive message to a new generation of Beauty and the Beast fans. The movie’s director, Bill Condon, revealed in the April issue of Attitude that Gaston’s sidekick will be gay.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon told the magazine of Disney’s first gay character. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings.”
Condon added that the take on the 1991 animated classic will include an “exclusively gay moment.”
Beauty and the Beast hits theaters March 17.