Emma Watson has spoken out about the pressures of Hollywood, and how they can conflict with her feminist ideals.
“You come under quite serious pressure when you’re doing Hollywood films to wear a heavy amount of boob support and whatever else,” the Harry Potter actress said.
Speaking during a round-table interview while promoting Disney’s new live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, in which she stars as Belle, she said she fought to make adjustments to the character and how she appears on screen.
“I insisted in this film, which I’ve never done on other ones, that they keep my freckles – they usually block them all out,” she said.
She also stipulated that they didn’t mess with the way her body was represented: “I insisted my body shape be the body shape.”
She added, “I certainly pushed as hard as I could without getting myself fired”.
Thankfully, the production team was on board – she also collaborated with director Bill Condon and the writing team to make sure Belle wore trousers beneath her skirt, ‘proper’ flat boots and had practical big pockets for carrying books.
But for Emma, it wasn’t about making the character more ‘feminist’ in the way some might interpret the word: “I think for me, the thing that makes Belle feminist is thinking about how to make her more human. How to make her less perfect. How to keep some of her imperfections.”
As Goodwill Ambassador for UN Women, Emma Watson famously delivered a speech about gender equality last year at the UN headquarters in New York. She is also one of the famous faces behind the HeForShe campaign – which she’s also spoken out about.
This background has made it easier for her to speak out on set. “There were these connections that made it feel very organic and easy,” she said.
“It’s very important to me that fairytales are carried forward with the right kind of messages.” – Dan Stevens
Her Beauty and the Beast co-star, Dan Stevens, who plays the Beast in the film, says that conveying the right message about gender equality to his daughters was one of the reasons he wanted to take on the role.
“It’s something I think about a huge amount as somebody who now has two daughters. It’s very important to me that fairytales are carried forward with the right kind of messages and I think Emma’s message is a very powerful one, a very strong one – and very important.”
Beauty and the Beast hits screens on March 17.