Emma Watson has been outspoken about her desire for Belle in Beauty & The Beast to be a feminist. The actor has a deep love for the character she's helped bring to life, and she's doing everything she can to make sure the reinvention of the Disney princess is as empowering to women as possible. So, it shouldn't be surprising that Watson took Gloria Steinem to see Beauty & The Beast to get her incredibly prodigious opinion about the latest Disney movie. Luckily, Steinem was impressed, and Watson discusses the feminist's feedback in the latest issue of Vanity Fair.
Hanging out with Steinem has got to be a dream come true, and that Watson counts the influential writer among her friends is just too good. As the actor tells Vanity Fair, "I couldn’t care less if I won an Oscar or not if the movie didn’t say something that I felt was important for people to hear." She has been vocal in interviews about the changes she asked of Belle's character in the new live-action movie musical. Watson wanted Belle to be a feminist, to have a career, and to be in control of her life. And, obviously, when you want to find out if you've achieved peak feminism, you call Gloria Steinem, right?
According to Vanity Fair, Watson's main concern was that the new Beauty & The Beast didn't "conflict with the ideals of a feminist." The publication spoke to Steinem to find out her reaction to the movie, and she was completely complimentary of Watson's work. Steinem says,
“It was fascinating that her activism could be so well mirrored by the film. It’s this love of literature that first bonds the Beauty to the Beast, and also what develops the entire story.”
A seal of approval from the writer who co-founded Ms. magazine is majorly impressive and shows how hard Watson has worked on the Disney movie. Rather than being a frivolous fairy tale retold, Beauty and the Beast has allowed the actor to maintained her politics and integrity by steering her character in a direction she can be proud of and that women, everywhere, can relate to.
Steinem's support of Watson goes further than Beauty & The Beast, though. As she tells Vanity Fair, "Emma is interested in the world, she is caring, and though she is active she is also joyous and informed." Just when I thought I couldn't get any more excited about the 2017 version of the Disney classic.