Why Emma Watson Was Terrified of Her ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Co-Star Dan Stevens
Emma Watson once teamed up with Downtown Abbey alum Dan Stevens in the highly successful Beauty and the Beast. But Stevens once joked that Watson was scared of him making this mistake during their collaboration.
Emma Watson opened up about working with Dan Stevens in ‘Beauty and the Beast’
Working with Stevens required an enormous amount of trust on Watson’s part due to their performances. Both actors had familiarity with the animated Beauty and the Beast. Watson even already knew many of the songs used in the live action film. This only helped the preparation for her performance.
“I didn’t have to learn a single lyric because I already knew the songs by heart,” Watson once told CNN. “I’ve always loved singing, and it’s something I’ve always wanted to do.”
After Stevens and Watson were cast, Stevens shared that they bonded through their intense dance routines on the feature.
“There was a lot of work, dancing on stilts. Getting to know Emma, first and foremost, on the dance floor was a great way to get to know your co-star. I’m going to try to do that with every movie I do now, whether there’s a waltz in the movie or not. No. There was the trust that Emma had to place in me, that I wouldn’t break her toes,” Stevens once told Collider.
In an interview with ABC News, Stevens revealed that Watson was actually terrified of her toes being crushed.
“She’s a great dancer but she was terrified of me that I was going to break her toes in these contraptions that I was wearing,” Stevens said. “Fortunately we learned the dance on the ground. As I always say to my kids, if you think you can fly, always test it taking off from the ground. So we learned it on the ground and then worked our way up to these stilts.”
Dan Stevens found his starring role in ‘Beauty and the Beast’ equally terrifying
Watson was circling around Beauty and the Beast long before it hit theaters in 2017. The Harry Potter alum was attached to the project when Guillermo Del Toro was tapped to direct the feature. The film would later change hands from Del Toro to director Bill Condon, with Watson still linked to Belle.
Stevens won his role in Disney’s box-office hit through an audition process that included him singing. After he won the highly coveted role, however, Stevens was admittedly nervous playing such an iconic role.
“It was a mixture of extreme excitement and mild terror. It’s a huge honor to be asked to play an iconic role like this. It’s a privilege,” Stevens said in a 2017 interview with Harper’s Bazaar. “I guess the biggest responsibility I felt was to my childhood self, really, who loved this fairytale, loved fairytales in general, and loved the animated film. Then it was to my own kids. I tried not to think about all the millions of other kids that would be seeing it.”
At times, Stevens actually began to question his performance as the Disney character. The actor was fitted with prostheses and a heavy 40-pound muscle suit that weighed down on him. He also had to adjust to the stilts he wore to illustrate the Beast’s massive size. Between his uncomfortable new wardrobe, as well as his own natural performance, doubt started creeping into Stevens’ head.
“With the dance training, getting those steps down, but then getting them down in the stilts… Every day I woke up thinking, ‘How are we going to do this?’ I continued to probably think that throughout the post[-production] process as well,” Stevens added. “The first cut of the film, the first rough assembly that [director Bill Condon] showed me of the movie—which was gorgeous, by the way—had me still in my Lycra suit. There was no CGI rendered at all, so the performance was there, but I had to just draw on untold resources of imagination to believe and will the Beast into being.”