Feb 24 - Belle is a departure from other Disney princesses, Emma Watson insisted at the premiere for her new fantasy romance film "Beauty and the Beast" on Thursday evening.
"The wonderful thing about Belle is I feel like even in the original, she was very progressive", Watson said, adding that she enjoyed filling out more of the back story for the character.
A live action remake of the 1991 Disney animated movie, "Beauty and the Beast" follows Belle as she is imprisoned by a beast, played by Dan Stevens, in his castle.
She meets and becomes friends with its staff members, such as Mrs Potts the teapot, voiced by Emma Thompson, and gradually warms to the beast.
At the premiere, Luke Evans, who plays the arrogant, boorish Gaston smitten by Belle, said that there were similarities between his character's "fear of the unknown" and the current political climate.
"There's a definite parallel to be drawn there, about somebody who doesn't want to be told 'no', will not be told 'no', and will fight until the end purely because of the fear of the unknown," he said.
Director Bill Condon said that he felt "pressures" in creating the remake, while Ian McKellen, who takes on the voice of Cogsworth the clock, said the anticipation of seeing how the new film compares with the original was "nerve-racking".
"Lots of jokes in this, and unexpected jokes, with constant reference back to the Disney animation, so I think it's very very likely to appeal to, probably even more than the original", McKellen added.
The stars later braved Storm Doris, which has been battering Britain and Ireland, to head to Leicester Square to watch the film.
"Beauty and the Beast" hits cinemas worldwide from March 15.