Emma Watson Addresses Beauty & the Beast's Stockholm Syndrome Accusations
Emma Watson is opening up about concerns that her upcoming Beauty and the Beast movie features the psychological phenomenon of Stockholm syndrome (aka feelings of trust or affection felt in certain cases of kidnapping or hostage-taking by a victim toward a captor).
The 26-year-old actress disagrees with any accusations of the sort, as she thought carefully about playing Belle before taking on the role, making sure she didn’t portray her as a victim.
“It’s something I really grappled with at the beginning: the Stockholm-syndrome question,” she told Entertainment Weekly in its February 24th/March 3rd 2017 issue. “That’s where a prisoner will take on the characteristics of and fall in love with the captor. Belle actively argues and disagrees with [Beast] constantly.”
“She has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm syndrome because she keeps her independence; she keeps that freedom of thought,” Emma went on. “I also think there is a very intentional switch where, in my mind, Belle decides to stay. She’s giving him hell. There is no sense of ‘I need to kill this guy with kindness.’ Or any sense that she deserves this. In fact, she gives as good as she gets. He bangs on the door, she bangs back. There’s this defiance that ‘You think I’m going to come and eat dinner with you and I’m your prisoner – absolutely not.’”
Click inside to hear what else Emma had to say…
“The other beautiful thing about the love story is that they form a friendship first,” she added. “There is this genuine sharing, and the love builds out of that, which in many ways is more meaningful than a lot of love stories, where it was love at first sight. They are having no illusions about who the other one is. They have seen the worst of one another, and they also bring out the best.”