Emma Watson has opened up regarding her concerns that the upcoming Disney Beauty and the Beast features the main character, Belle, suffering from what psychologists  call Stockholm syndrome. The syndrome is perceived to be the feeling of attraction, trust, or affection that is sometimes felt by kidnap or hostage victims towards their captor.

The actress, 26 years old, disagrees with and outright denies any intentions or sentiments that the movie will portray this syndrome, as she stated that she carefully thought out her portrayal of Belle before she agreed to accept the role. She said she wanted to make sure not to portray her in a victimized manner.

Emma’s Response

“It’s something I really grappled with at the beginning: the Stockholm-syndrome question,” Watson said to Entertainment Weekly. “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 went on to say that Belle does not have any characteristics of someone who has Stockholm syndrome because “she keeps her independence; she keeps that freedom of thought.” Emma continued to say, “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.’”

A Story of Love

The actress, a pronounced feminist, also mentioned that she believes the story is that of friendship and love, that there is genuine kindness and compassion involved

She said, “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.”

The movie is expected to be released in March of this year.