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Watch: 'Beauty and the Beast' Star Emma Watson Sings!

Beauty and the Beast

Emma Watson made her movie debut at the age of 11 in Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone and literally grew up on screen. But it wasn’t until the series concluded in 2011 that we started to get a sense of her range as an actress, apart from her signature role as Hermione Granger.

She acquitted herself quite well in My Week With Marilyn and The Perks of Being a Wallflower, capably handling key supporting roles. Watson really stood out in Sofia Coppola’s The Bling Ring, as a fame-obsessed young woman who happily breaks into the homes of celebrities to steal their material goods. Darren Aronofsky’s Noah allowed her to showcase her dramatic abilities, such as in this scene opposite Anthony Hopkins.

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About four years ago, Watson was in very early talks to star in Cinderella for Disney and director Kenneth Branagh. That didn’t happen, so Watson ended up making the little-heralded Colonia and Regression.

Now Watson explains in a new interview for Total Film (via EOnline) why she’s happy to portray Belle, even though she declined the opportunity to star as Cinderella: “I didn’t know they were going to make Beauty and the Beast at the time I turned down Cinderella. But when they offered me Belle, I just felt the character resonated with me so much more than Cinderella did. She remains curious, compassionate and open-minded. And that’s the kind of woman I would want to embody as a role model, given the choice.”

Since the casting was announced, we’ve wondered about Watson’s singing abilities. Those questions were answered in part when Disney premiered a TV spot during the Golden Globes recently.

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Watson, who has never sung in a movie before, has a lovely singing voice, which should bolster her performance as Belle. After all, the original songs allowed Belle to express her desire to enjoy adventures in her life and also to comment on her relationship with the Beast.

When reading the script, the actress wondered what Belle did all day and so the character became an inventor, like her father (below). All these points suggest Beauty and the Beast will be a remarkable experience when it opens in theaters on March 17.

Beauty and the Beast

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