Emma Watson is making headlines for her work on and off the screen. The actress and UN Women Goodwill Ambassador has had quite a week: she announced a yearlong initiative, HeforShe’s IMPACT 10x10x10, at the World’s Economic Forum in Switzerland on Friday, and early Monday, it was reported that she’d be starring in Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast.
HeForShe’s IMPACT 10x10x10 calls for companies, governments, and universities to help end the inequalities girls and women face across the globe. “It is my belief that there is a greater understanding
than ever that women need to be equal participants in our homes, in our
societies, in our governments and in our work places,” said Watson. “They know that the world is being held back in every way, because they
are not. Women share this planet 50/50, and they are under-represented, their
potential astonishingly untapped.”
Watson shared that she has been overwhelmed with the amount of support she’s received since launching HeforShe last September, when she publicly identified as a feminist and invited men to challenge social and systemic gender inequality: “I’ve
been stunned by the amount of men in my life that have contacted me since my
speech to tell me to keep going and that they want to make sure that their
daughters will still be alive to see a world where women have power and
equality, economically and politically.”
Watson has another exciting project in the works — taking on the role of Belle in Bill Condon’s Beauty and the Beast which will be penned by her Perks of Being a Wallflower director Stephen Chbosky. Linda Woolverton wrote the 1991 Disney classic, the first animated feature to receive an Oscar nomination for Best Picture. Watson’s enthusiasm about the project was tangible in a Facebook post: “I’m
finally able to tell you … that I will be playing Belle in Disney’s new
live-action Beauty and the Beast! It was such a big part of my growing up, it
almost feels surreal that I’ll get to dance to ‘Be Our Guest’ and sing
‘Something There’. My six-year-old self is on the ceiling — heart bursting.
Time to start some singing lessons. I can’t wait for you to see it.”
Watson, who pursued a post-secondary education despite being a successful and famous actress, will now have portrayed two of the most iconic bookworms ever — Hermione Granger and Belle.