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Beyoncé Turned Down A Film That Made $1.2 Billion At The Box Office Because The Role Offered Wasn't Big Enough

TheThings 12/8/2022 Alex Passa
© Provided by TheThings

Beyoncé has thrived in the music business, and she has done the same in the world of acting when called upon. The artist thrived in Austin Powers In Goldmember, taking her prep for the role very seriously. However, given how in-demand Beyoncé is, she is selective with certain role, as we'll see in the following.

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Without Beyoncé, Beauty and the Beast was still a major success with Emma Watson in the lead. We'll take a look back at the decision to cast Emma Watson, and how she landed the role.

In addition, we're going to take a closer look at which role Beyoncé was offered and why she decided to turn down the project. Her refusal turned out to be Gugu Mbatha-Raw's gain, as she thrived in the role and had a blast behind the scenes.

Emma Watson Was The First Choice To Star As Belle In Beauty And The Beast

Back in 2017, Beauty and the Beast had a huge budget, estimated to be between $160 million and $255 million. The investment was well worth it, as the film thrived at the box office, making over $1.2 billion. A major reason for the success, was Emma Watson playing the role of Belle. According to director Bill Condon, she was the first choice from the start.

"Emma was the first and only choice. It was a culmination of all those qualities that she brings to it."

"Obviously her intelligence, her beauty, her talent. The only question was whether she could sing," he explained.

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Following a meeting between the two along with a tape, it was clear that the Watson was the first and only choice for the role.

"So we met. When I met her, I was even more hopeful that it was going to work out, because she also seemed to have a real passion for this story and this character."

"And then she went off and did a little tape, and it was like, 'wow, that's it'." The actress would also prove she was able to sing.

Turns out, casting the role of Plumette was a little more complicated as the director's first-choice turned down the role.

Beyoncé Turned Down The Role Of Plumette In Beauty And The Beast

Among Bill Condon's wish-list for Beauty and the Beast included none other than, Beyoncé. Despite the popularity of the film, it turns out that the role was too small for Beyoncé, as she was thought of for the role of Plumette.

Condon recalls the process of trying to cast Beyoncé.

"I even tried to get her into Beauty and the Beast,” he reveals, “but it wasn’t a big enough part. She would have been a good feather duster.”

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Despite the rejection, the film still enjoyed huge success and in addition, Gugu Mbatha-Raw thrived in the role that Beyoncé had initially turned down. According to Gugu Mbatha-Raw, the role was exactly what she needed at that point in her career.

Gugu Mbatha-Raw Took On The Role Instead And Had A Blast With It

Gugu Mbatha-Raw took on the role, and it was one that revitalized her career from an acting standpoint, given that she was mostly accustomed to dramatic roles at the time.

"It was really refreshing to do something a little lighter and more whimsical after playing a few dramatic roles, and very liberating to play an object — I don’t get offered roles like this very often," she said.

"You have to go back to that childhood, imaginative part of yourself where you’re like, ‘OK! I’m a feather duster! Here we go! What would that sound like? What would this be like?’ I think it just takes you back to that childlike ‘let’s pretend’ kind of feeling."

Gugu Mbatha-Raw felt that much better about the film, when first arriving on-set and seeing the process take place.

"It was just dreamy. Walking onto that set was an incredibly surreal moment. All the craftsmanship that went into this movie was just breathtaking. ... I will never forget that day."

Who knows, maybe Beyoncé and some regret over turning down the role.

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