Disney adapting Beauty and the Beast from its animated format into live-action is a tall order considering the huge fan base the 1991 animated film has. But considering that Disney has found huge success in their live-action remakes, it comes as no surprise that the studio would give this one the same treatment. And like those previous films, they usually come with a huge ensemble. With Emma Watson and Dan Stevens playing the title characters, the film needed actors who could fill the roles of the massively muscular and massively egotistical Gaston and his adorably bumbling sidekick LeFou.
So Luke Evans and Josh Gad took on the roles, and did so beyond our expectations. The two have such great chemistry, and have a wonderful duet in the new rendition of “Gaston.” You can check out our video of the two singing the song alongside the film’s composer Alan Menken. Plus find out what they had to say during the film’s press junket about what it takes to be a villain and their experiences working with their horses.
Evans believes a villain should not start out as the bad guy, but a villain should end up being the bad guy. “With Gaston, outwardly to a lot of people, he is the hero. He is a bit of a stud. He has good looks and is always impeccably dressed. Doesn’t have a bad singing voice,” said Evans. “He got a great power who makes everybody support him and sing about him. In a way, I wanted the audience to like him a little bit first so when the cracks first start to appear, which they do very subtly, there is something inside of him that says ‘I am not used to this. This isn’t how it goes.’ Although he believes Belle will change her mind, that’s when the cracks start to appear in my thought process. And slowly the jealously takes over.”
For Gaston, he has no book of spells. Unless you count his dashing good looks. But unlike any other Disney villain, Gaston has nothing but his muscles and reputation to use to woo Belle. To no avail. “He’s a human being and uses his status within that village to rouse a crowd and he does it all from just being himself,” laughed Evans. “It’s quite terrifying in a way. It was a lot to put on. He was a war hero of sorts and there is a slight animalistic soldier in him when he finally fights the Beast on the rooftop. You see this man out for blood. It’s a scary moment to see a beloved buffoon of the village to become the beast.”
As for Josh Gad, he did not have a great relationship with his horse, who he claims is anti-Semite. “I’ve learned a couple of great lessons on this movie. One of which is Jews don’t belong on horses. Specifically, overweight Jews.” Gad went on to recall how the “trained” horse would defy commands after a scene was shot. He went on to say that Luke’s horse was much more obedient, partially because “the two of them worked on The Hobbit, together.” But for such a simple shot of walking side-by-side, Gad’s horse could just not follow the commands. The actor said his horse “proceeded to moonwalk.” “Then he ran through multiple extras,” said Gad. “I didn’t even know it was possible, ran through these pillars, around, up and back again. I heard cut and I heard laughing.” He said that the laughing was coming from the horse’s trainer who told him “I’m so sorry, I’ve never seen this happen before.” “Ironically, my horse’s name was Buddy,” said Gad. “I’m begging Disney to press charges against him and I’ve told my agents to never send me another script with a horse in it again,” Gad jokes.
Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters on March 17, 2017. Find our review, more interviews, trailers, and more right here.