Long before Beauty and the Beast got a live-action version, there’s been a somewhat weird association with the movie. Fans and haters alike often times believe that Belle ends up with Gaston because she develops Stockholm syndrome during her time spent captive.
The question of whether or not Belle only falls in love with Gaston because she can’t be released until she does often arises. Well, Emma Watson, who plays Belle in the live-action Beauty and the Beast, is shutting those rumors down.
In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Emma Watson says,
“It’s such a good question and it’s something I really grappled with at the beginning; the kind of Stockholm Syndrome question about this story. So, I did some reading about Stockholm Syndrome… It’s where a prisoner will take on the characteristics of and fall in love with, in this really strange way, 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 her independence of mind. And I think there’s a very intentional switch where, in my mind, Belle decides to stay.”
“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.’ The love builds out of that, which in many ways, I actually think is more meaningful than a lot of love stories where it was love at first sight.”
Beauty and the Beast opens March 17.