10 Fun Facts About Disney’s Live-Action Beauty and The Beast
It was truly an honor to be a guest at Disney’s Beauty and the Beast press conference. The event took place at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA on Sunday, March 5, 2017, and not only featured a 30-minute Q&A with the cast of the film but also a pre-conference musical performance by the one and only Alan Menken. As someone who loves almost everything that is Disney, watching Menken perform songs like Be Our Guest and Beauty and The Beast was just a remarkable, once in a lifetime experience. The highlight of the musical portion of the conference, however, was when Josh Gad and Luke Evans came out to sing “Gaston” while Menken played the piano and lend his voice to some of the supporting voice cast members during the performance.
After this delightful performance, Emma Watson (“Belle”), Dan Stevens (“Beast / Prince Adam”), Luke Evans (“Gaston”), Josh Gad (“Le Fou”), Audra McDonald (“Garderobe”), Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Plumette”), Director Bill Condon, and Musical mastermind Alan Menken sat down to answer various questions about the film. The cast and crew talked a lot about the project including the modernization of the original and adapting it into a new live action version. Below you will find what I found to be the ten most interesting facts that I gathered from the event. I believe these little insights will intrigue fans of the original to seek out and discover this new amazing film that in my humble opinion is just as good, if not maybe a bit better than the 1991 animated classic.
10. Director Bill Condon was fearful at first about turning a beloved animated classic into a live-action film. Once he got over his initial fear, he began to focus on some of the questions that weren’t answered in the 1991 version which gave him a point of focus for this live action version.
9. When Emma Watson first heard Paige O’Hara singing as Belle, she immediately resonated with her voice. Watson used this as an inspiration for taking on the role of Belle. She wanted to exhibit the same spirit that O’Hara conveyed in the original.
8. Dan Stevens said that becoming Beast was a very physical engagement. Stevens also pointed out that he had to wear a muscle suit throughout filming. To become the Beast, Stevens not only had to stand on stilts but also had to learn how to dance with them on as well.
7. According to Luke Evans, he never wanted Gaston to just be the bad guy but instead wanted him to become the bad guy. Evans said that it was part of his process to make Gaston slowly become the villain as the jealousy took over his mind and actions.
6. Josh Gad expressed that he struggled with riding a horse during the filming. He pointed out that while Evans and the rest of the cast were able to ride their horses without any real issue, Gad’s horse who was named Buddy, was anything but a buddy to Gad.
5. Gugu Mbatha-Raw was a huge fan of the 1991 original film and was beyond excited to be a part of this live action version. Mbatha- Raw had to learn a French accent for the role of Plumette and had the same dialect coach as Ewan McGregor for the film.
4. When asked about the controversial move to address LeFou‘s sexual preference, director Bill Condon said that when adapting the 300-year-old story for a 2017 audience, he wanted to fill out the characters. He said, “For 300 years it’s about looking closer, going deeper, and accepting people for who they are. In a very Disney way, we are including everybody. I think this movie is for everybody, and on the screen, you’ll see everybody, and that was important to me, I think to all of us.
3. Emma Waston believes that because Belle loves books makes her character rebellious. Watson believes that books can be incredibly empowering and liberating.
2. Alan Menken spoke about the different musical numbers in the live action version. Menken discussed that every iteration of Beauty and the Beast contains different musical numbers. He pointed out that in the Broadway version of Beauty and The Beast, the Beast sang the song “If I Can’t Love her” and in this new live-action adaptation, the Beast sings “Evermore.” These songs were added in to go along with the structure such as a two-act play versus a three act film.
1.When Josh Gad got the call about playing LeFou, he had a flashback to being a 10-year-old kid and seeing the film in a theater for the first time. He said that Beauty and The Beast along with Aladdin and The Little Mermaid were such a big part of his childhood. He practiced performing the song in his office at home and was so delighted when his kids walked into the room seeing him sing the song that they would now be able to see on the big screen.
Be sure to check out Disney’s Beauty and The Beast which opens in theaters everywhere on Friday, March 17, 2017. We are We Live Entertainment adored the film. You can check out my review here and Ashley’s review here. Be sure to share your thoughts and feelings with us about the film by commenting in the box below.