The first pictures of Emma Watson as Beauty and the Beast‘s Belle were released earlier this week. Along with Watson in the well-know and well-loved yellow dress, Entertainment Weekly also had photos of the other beloved characters.
For their cover story, EW visited the movie set in the UK and spoke to the film’s stars. They also spoke to director Bill Condon and costume designer Jacqueline Durran, who talked about the iconic yellow dress.
The article also talks about the new songs, written by Tim Rice and Alan Menken.
The yellow dress isn’t exactly the same as the one in the animated movie. Durran gave it a more modern update. This included no corset under the dress, as was expected.
“In Emma’s reinterpretation,” Durran told EW, “Belle is an active princess. She did not want a dress that was corseted or that would impede her in any way.”
The dress wasn’t the only thing that was updated in the movie. Thanks to Watson, a Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s HeForShe campaign, Belle will have a backstory with a feminist twist.
“In the animated movie, it’s her father who is the inventor, and we actually co-opted that for Belle,” the 26-year-old British actress said. “I was like, ‘Well, there was never very much information or detail at the beginning of the story as to why Belle didn’t fit in, other than she liked books. Also, what is she doing with her time?'”
She went on to explain that she had helped with the character’s backstory.
“We created a backstory for her, which was that she had invented a kind of washing machine. So that, instead of doing laundry, she could sit and use that time to read instead. So, yeah, we made Belle an inventor.”
The live-action adaption of the Disney’s 1991 animated classic, stars Emma Watson, Luke Evans, Kevin Kile, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbathap-Raw, Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson, and Broadway star Audra McDonald.
The Entertainment Weekly issue is on newsstands, as well as online, now. Beauty and the Beast opens March 17.