Emma Watson finally explains why she wasn't in La La Land

Bye bye Oscar: One-time La La Land star Emma Watson and actual La La Land star Emma Stone
Bye bye Oscar: One-time La La Land star Emma Watson and actual La La Land star Emma Stone Credit: JOHANNES EISELE/AFP/Getty Images (L); Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP (R)

In the bizarro world of alternate-reality Hollywood, Emma Watson would have sung her heart out in La La Land, having initially been earmarked for the lead female role alongside Miles Teller. In that world, it's Watson who would potentially bag an Oscar for her work, while her namesake Emma Stone would be off filming Spider-Man 5 or something similar.

But, in reality, Watson chose to make the upcoming Beauty and the Beast instead, leading to reports that she was "freaking out and looking for someone else to blame" for backing out of the film. But now Watson has explained just why she ended up departing one blockbuster musical in favour of another.

Emma Watson and Dan Stevens in Beauty and the Beast Credit: Disney

"It's one of these frustrating things where 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," she told SiriusXM's Town Hall radio show.

"[Beauty and the Beast] wasn't a movie I could just sort of step into," she continued. "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. 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, you know, scheduling conflict-wise, it just didn't work out."

Emma Watson talks to host Anthony Breznican at SiriusXM's Town Hall last week Credit:  Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

'Anonymous sources' back in January told gossip column Page Six that Watson's dithering over time commitments torpedoed her chances of being in the film, and unsurprisingly seemed to make her more villainous than Watson's version of events.

"Watson was offered the lead female role, but she initially wouldn't commit," the source claimed. "Then she began making all these crazy demands, like rehearsals for the film must be done in London – for a film called La La Land! They jumped through hoops to make it work with her, but she just didn't feel the film was right for her."

Beauty and the Beast ? in UK cinemas 17 March Beauty and the Beast ? in UK cinemas 17 March
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Despite Emma Stone's success in the part, Watson insisted she has no regrets.

"I'm so thrilled that musicals are so celebrated at the moment!" she said. "They seem to be back in the zeitgeist and people are kind of celebrating and loving music and singing and dancing again. I thought [La La Land] was wonderful. It's lovely."

Watson's tragic consolation prize, something called Beauty and the Beast, hits cinemas in the coming weeks.