Each product we feature has been independently selected and reviewed by our editorial team. If you make a purchase using the links included, we may earn commission.

Disney’s new live-action Beauty and the Beast may not hit theaters until March 17, but for the last week, discussion has been swirling around the fact that the film features a gay character. Now, Emma Watson — who stars as the beautiful bookworm Belle — is weighing in about why she loves the filmmakers’ decision.

Director Bill Condon broke the news in an interview with Attitude magazine, revealing that Gaston’s sidekick LeFou (played by Josh Gad) would be seen in “an exclusively gay moment.” Since then, he’s said that his remarks have been “overblown” and that LeFou’s subplot is really only a small part of the larger film.

Subscribe now to receive Entertainment Weekly’s The Ultimate Guide to Beauty and The Beast special issue, featuring the casts and creators of the new film and the animated classic, free with your order.

Watson agrees — and in a recent SiriusXM interview with EW’s Anthony Breznican, she says that she especially loves that subtlety.

“I think that what’s so fantastic about Josh’s performance is that it’s so subtle. It’s always like, does he idolize Gaston? Is he in love with Gaston? What’s the relationship there? And I think it’s incredibly subtle, to be perfectly honest. I don’t want people going into this movie thinking that there’s like a huge narrative there. There really isn’t. It’s incredibly subtle, and it’s kind of a play on having the audience go, ‘Is it, or is it not?’ I think it’s fun. I love the ambiguity there.”

The scenes in the new Beauty and the Beast — mild spoilers ahead — involve LeFou flirting with Gaston (played by Luke Evans) and dancing with another male character. One theater in Alabama has vowed not to show the film because of LeFou’s sexuality.

Watch the entire discussion with Watson here.

Beauty and the Beast (2017)
  • Movie
  • 129 minutes