Beauty has made a comeback, that is Belle of Beauty and the Beast fame. This beloved Disney classic has returned to the theaters and not just as a revival of it be projected on a big screen, but it has returned with an added dimension, in 3D!
And with Beauty making a come back, that also means that the amazingly talented woman who lent her voice to the animation is basking – yet again- in the Princess glow, the one and only Paige O’Hara.
After conferring with my daughter’s kindergarten class about what to ask the one and only voice of Belle, the favorite Princess of many of the girls, I had to chance to speak to the charming and beauty Ms. O’Hara about Beauty and the Beast, princesses and what she is doing now.
Today I talked to my daughter’s class and asked them if they had questions for you. And there were some pretty interesting ones like, “how did you get so small to fit into the TV’, “where you got all those pretty dresses” but one really, really wanted to know how you got the job of Belle?
I heard about it in the New York Times, I went in for an audition along side 500 others. I auditioned five times. I just sort of knew it was my part. I just knew I was going to get it. I just really identified with the character. I was very confident that it would be mine.
When you meet little girls, what kind of reaction do you get, when they don’t see the animated belle but the human voice of Belle.
It’s different depending on their age. If they’re over ten, they get it. But when they’re younger, they expect you to look like her, to be in the ball gown. When I was doing promotion for a past release I did some appearances with kindergarten aged children. I’d walk in and they were asking, “where is your gown?” they were taken aback. But I’d sit down and read a book and they’d hear my voice and they’d gather all around me. Once they heard the voice they got it.
How is it sharing your life with Belle, has it changed your life?
Due to Belle, I have an international level of notoriety, as an actress and a singer and it gives me a lot more opportunity to do charitable work and it has given me financial stability, which as a Broadway actress isn’t easy to come by. It’s been a God send and it’s enabled me to be with my husband and to be with family, it’s been an amazing experience. I love it.
What is Belle doing (in your mind right now) and what is Paige doing right now?
Knowing Belle, she’s getting her third bachelors and doctorate degree in philosophy or art. I’m actually working and living in Las Vegas and for seven years I’ve been the character done Soap Star in “Menopause The Musical.” It’s great to be on stage. Also I got the chance to play Judy Garland, which is in the works right now, they just have to rewrite it.
What’s your favorite song from the film not just to hear but to sing?
My favorite song is “Beauty and the Beast” of course, but for me, the whole sequence of “Something There”, when they are playing in the snow, and she realizes she is falling in love with him.
As a parent, I’ve seen the movie 10 or 15 times…how many times have you seen it?
And Belle continues to be hers, not just in the promotion she continues to do in regards to the film but she added that, “I’m also a painter for Disney. I do pieces for Disney fine art. I’m looking forward to seeing it in 3D so I can see new details of the artwork. I’m still working on a series of Belle.” And her Belles? Well they’re amazing. You can check out her work here.