As pretty much everyone in the universe knows by now, Disney’s live-action version of Beauty & the Beast comes out on March 17. And as readers of this blog know, my book My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Beauty & the Beast (along with 3 other books in the series) comes out August 1.
So I was really excited to read this interview with the new Belle, Emma Watson, from Entertainment Weekly, where she addresses the tricky subject of whether Belle’s love for the Beast stems from Stockholm Syndrome, a psychological condition where prisoners fall in love with their captor.
“Belle actively argues and disagrees with [Beast] constantly. She has none of the characteristics of someone with Stockholm Syndrome because she keeps her independence, she keeps that freedom of thought.”
– Emma Watson, Entertainment Weekly
It’s a great point, although I address the subject a bit differently in my version. In My Rotten Stepbrother Ruined Beauty & the Beast, Holden, the rotten kid in the title, enjoys needling his fairy tale-loving stepsister by pointing out plot holes in her favorite stories. With Beauty & the Beast, one of the things he mentions is how messed-up it is that Belle falls in love with a creepy recluse who’s holding her prisoner.
Yes, I’ve written a kids’ book about Stockholm Syndrome.
It’s all presented in a fun, kid-friendly way, of course. Holden insists that there’s no way Belle really loves this guy, and soon, the feuding step-siblings are thrust into the tale, where they become characters who have to give the story back its Happily Ever After. Holden is a lawyer who has to defend the Beast against kidnapping charges, and his step-sister Maddie is Belle, whose father is trying to deprogram her and get her to date other men.
I love that Emma Watson put so much thought into this topic, and after you see the movie, I hope you’ll check out my version of the story for a whole different perspective, with an unexpected fairy tale ending all its own.