Emma Watson "perfect" for Beauty and the Beast, says original Belle actress

Expectations are already high for the upcoming live-action adaptation of Disney’s animated classic ‘Beauty and the Beast’ - and now, leading lady Emma Watson has been endorsed by surely the highest authority.

Paige O'Hara, who voiced Belle in the 1991 Oscar-winning hit, has spoken highly of her successor in the role.

Speaking to Yahoo! Movies in a Facebook Live chat, O'Hara had this to say of the 'Harry Potter’ actress: “She is perfect casting, perfect casting… I think she’s going to be absolutely brilliant. And I think the movie’s going to be brilliant.”

Nor is the Belle actress the only figure from the original animated movie to express such an opinion, as composer Alan Menken has also said as much in recent weeks.

O'Hara made her film debut on 'Beauty and the Beast,’ having already worked extensively in musical theatre.

She has subsequently voiced Belle in a number of animated shorts, as well as some other voice work on TV cartoons, and also had a cameo role in 2007 Disney movie 'Enchanted,’ but today she works mainly as a painter.

However, O'Hara says her voice is still often recognised as Belle: “Right when the VHS came out, a little boy in the grocery store [recognized my voice]… And I’ve had it happen over the phone a few times.”

As well as Emma Watson, director Bill Condon’s live-action ‘Beauty and the Beast’ will star Dan Stevens as Beast, Luke Evans as Gaston, Kevin Kline as Belle’s father, Josh Gad as Le Fou, Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, and Emma Thompson as Mrs Potts.

It opens on 17 March 2017.

Picture Credit: Disney, WENN

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