Emma Watson, who is headlining the upcoming Beauty and the Beast, was originally eyed for another musical. A few weeks after Emma Stone won an Oscar for La La Land, Watson is opening up on why she didn’t end up in the role.
During Friday’s SiriusXM Town Hall, the Harry Potter alum sat down for an extended chat on a variety of topics, including the rumors of her possible involvement with Damien Chazelle’s Academy Award-nominated film.
“It’s one of these frustrating things where sort of names get attached to projects very early on as a way to kind of build anticipation or excitement for something that’s coming before anything is really actually agreed or set in stone,” said Watson.
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.
Acknowledging that she had been committed to Beauty and the Beast for years, Watson says she felt her performance wouldn’t be best served by splitting time between Bill Condon’s fairy-tale adaptation and Chazelle’s tale about an aspiring actress in love with a jazz pianist.
“I knew I had horse training, I knew I had dancing, I knew I had three months of singing ahead of me, and I knew I had to be in London to really do that,” said Watson. “And this wasn’t a movie I could just kind of parachute into. I knew I had to do the work, and I had to be where I had to be. So scheduling conflict-wise, it just didn’t work out.”
In discussing La La Land, Watson was much more diplomatic than Miles Teller, who originally had been pegged to star alongside the actress — a role that ultimately went to Ryan Gosling. After Teller told Esquire about his reaction to being replaced in the film, Chazelle addressed the casting rumors.
“I will say is that the casting of this movie during the six years it took to get made went through lots of permutations, and it’s true there was a moment where Emma Watson and Miles Teller were doing it,” he said to Uproxx. “And neither of those casting things wound up lasting or working out. But it was part of the up and down of this movie: that we were about to make it, we were about to not make it, about to make it, about to not make it.”
Watch the entire discussion with Watson here.