Emma Watson Shared Why Winning This MTV Movie Award Meant So Much To Her

It was a history-making night.

Sunday night's MTV Movie & TV Awards weren't just historic for including stars of both the big and small screens. The show also featured the first genderless acting award, Best Actor in a Movie, which went to Emma Watson for Beauty and the Beast.

Watson made sure to acknowledge this important moment in her acceptance speech. "MTV's move to create a genderless award for acting will mean something different to everyone," she said. "But to me, it indicates that acting is about the ability to put yourself in someone else's shoes. And that doesn't need to be separated into two different categories. Empathy and the ability to use your imagination should have no limits."

Watson also acknowledged Asia Kate Dillon, the actor who presented the award. Dillon plays television's first gender non-binary character on Showtime's Billions and wrote a letter to the Emmys earlier this year about how the "actor" and "actress" categories are determined.

"Thank you for educating me in such an inclusive, patient, and loving way," Watson told Dillon, before running over to give them a hug.

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Watson went on to share what it means to win an award for playing an iconic character like Belle. "I think I am being given this award because of who Belle is and what she represents," she said. 

The villagers in our fairy tale wanted to make Belle believe that the world is smaller than the way she saw it, with fewer opportunities for her — that her curiosity and passion for knowledge, and her desire for more in life, were grounds for alienation. I loved playing someone who didn't listen to any of that. I'm so proud to be a part of a film that celebrates diversity, literacy, inclusion, joy, and love the way that this one does.

Later in the night, Beauty and the Beast won Movie of the Year. While accepting the award, director Bill Condon gave a shout-out to the women who embraced the film. "Women have proven that they are a huge and powerful audience, and it's gonna change the movie business," he said.

(H/T: Elle)

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