Some parts are just made for certain people. Especially with adaptions. They can either really get it right or wrong. There is usually no in between and with the combination of Gaston & LeFou aka Luke Evans & Josh Gad. Disney got it sooooo right. There could not have been two more people suitable for these roles. I mean besides looks:
They are just two friends who love Disney and love this movie. It’s rare and wit’s what I love to see. When friendship transcends the screen and you have two people finishing each other sentences you know that will be friends for life. No on to the interview!
Q: I feel like there was a lot of off screen trouble between the two of you…
LE:Cause trouble wherever we go. But make people laugh in the process. It was just a lot of fun playing these characters. You know, first of all, we were massive, massive fans of the original. You know, we were both kids when they came out. He was 10, I was 12. I was in South Wales, he was in South Florida. And the climate was rather different.
It probably meant even more to me ’cause it was always dark and gloomy where I came from. So to go in and watch a Disney film in the little cinema in our village was the highlight of my year! Always was. And to bring them to life, we both felt very lucky. And we knew that we could have a lot of fun and laugh. And there were moments when some of the funniest moments we had, I think are things that we made up on the moment.
JG: Oh yeah. The first sequence when the two of us are riding in that wagon with Maurice. That whole idea of calming Luke down with stories about the war and widows was something that we literally came up with on the spot. We had about like 30 variations of it. Some of them were even more insane than what you see on the screen. But you’re always hoping, when you get paired with somebody – and I’ve had a couple of those films that I’ve done, where it’s all about the chemistry between the two characters. And the day I met Luke, especially because I didn’t even realize we both came from musical theater. Luke from the West Side, me from Broadway. So we have this common language and this common understanding and this common goal of wanting to do justice to a movie that was so – I cannot stress this enough – so pivotal in our childhoods.
The second golden age of Disney animation from LITTLE MERMAID to BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, to ALADDIN then to LION KING, defined my growing up. They really did. I was 10 years old when BEAUTY AND THE BEAST came out. And those Allen Menken, Howard Ashman songs, they really were the soundtrack to my childhood. And so bringing a song like Gaston to life, that’s like a dream come true. So it was incredible.
Q: How did you feel when you tried on your costumes for the first time?
JG: [LAUGHS] Oh, I can tell you, Luke with his body felt a lot better than I did. I can tell you right off the bat.
LE: I’ve always said, and I always will say, because I think it – a massive part of my creation of a character, especially somebody like Gaston – the look is half of his ego. You know, the hair and the fitted red leather. You know, we went to about four or five incarnations of that leather jacket before we found the right color of blood red.
That represented the sinister part of his nature. Because I don’t know if you noticed, but that red jacket which is obviously so synonymous with Gaston in the original. And it’s the same here. That only goes on when he puts Maurice into the carriage to lock him up. And that’s the first time you see it. And we made that conscious decision. When you put something on like that, there was so much work in it, those buttons all and antlers on each button. And I had a pinky ring which was an antler impressed into red stone.
It was all antler themed, as you can imagine. It looked fantastic and you put the wig on and there you go. I remember taking it off on the last day and my hair and makeup lady’s like, “Okay, well, say goodbye to the final time, see you, Gaston.” And she took it off, and I start going, “Well, hello you.” And she was like, oh no. No. I was joking, obviously.
But he was a hard character to let go. I think we both felt very sad to let them go. Because we’d had so much fun and brought so much happiness to villains, it is to make people laugh. Yeah, that’s quite a gift, you know, ’cause usually you just make them hate you. But we had the opportunity to do both. And they love you at the end. I mean, like full redemption.
JG: Well, no, and that was important, with LeFou in particular. The character in the original movie is, he is a product of cartoon concepts, right? He has his teeth knocked out. He’s literally thrown across rooms by Gaston multiple times. There’s a part where snow falls on him and makes him a snowman. Which I tried. Which I fought to bring in the movie. And for me it was about adding dimension, I think for every character. About adding dimension. And one of the things that I really loved about LeFou in this particular version is, he does have this interesting arc where he starts to question the blind devotion that he has to this person who, during the course of the film, turns into the real monster. And that was such an interesting thing to play.
And again, we didn’t want to just literally recreate a movie that, in of itself is pretty perfect, right? You can’t do that. You have to add, you have to keep building on the legacy of that which everybody is awaiting and looking forward to. But also give them new surprises. And for us the new songs, the new moment, all of it adds up in its collective experience, that feels old in the best way. But also new in an amazing way. And that was so important to us.
Q: What made you truly sign on to do this iconic movie?
— kasandria (@SBellasWays) March 5, 2017
Q: Now that we have a new generation that’s gonna be watching it, what do you want the takeaway your character of Gaston and LeFou?
JG: Well, that’s a great question. I think that Gaston in particular, represents a really interesting character. Because there’s I think one of the most important lessons to be learned, comes surprisingly out of that character. Which is, you have a guy who is provoking fear, based on a character that nobody knows. That people are scared of because they’ve never seen him. But they’re afraid of what he’s capable of. Feeding into those fears and going to attack someone because, based on the fact that you’ve never met them before.
But what you believe they’re capable of. Well, that’s as relevant today as it was when BEAUTY AND THE BEAST was first written. I think that that then is the thing that I hope kids can look at and they’re not gonna understand it now. But that’s something as they revisit this film over and over and over again – this idea of never judging a book by its cover, is so important. Right? So that’s what I would say I hope they take from it.
LE:Well, yeah. Love conquers hate. That’s basically the running theme. And to watch it all being carried by a very strong female lead character. Who basically at the end of the day, guys, she saves the Prince. Multiple times, you know. If it wasn’t for her, this story wouldn’t have the backbone that it does. It comes from a very fearless, independently spirited young woman who reads, who’s intellectual. Who wants to learn.
Who sees that there are no boundaries to her world. It might be right there and then but she knows there’s a world out there to conquer and to discover. And she doesn’t need a man to do it. I mean, she’s a 21st Century Disney princess. Emma was exactly the right person to portray that character. And it’s a role model and you’ve said this and it’s lovely, I mean, the best compliment I guess Emma could have. Is that here’s two girls who are quite young, they will look to her. And you’ll be proud of them and happy for them to (have the) greatest performance.
See what I mean?! Two classic acts who are perfect for their roles as Gaston and Lefou.
About The Movie
Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” is a live-action re-telling of the studio’s animated classic which refashions the classic characters from the tale as old as time for a contemporary audience, staying true to the original music while updating the score with several new songs. “Beauty and the Beast” is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within. The film stars: Emma Watson as Belle; Dan Stevens as the Beast; Luke Evans as Gaston, the handsome, but shallow villager who woos Belle; Oscar® winner Kevin Kline as Maurice, Belle’s eccentric, but lovable father; Josh Gad as Lefou, Gaston’s long-suffering aide-de-camp; Golden Globe® nominee Ewan McGregor as Lumiere, the candelabra; Oscar nominee Stanley Tucci as Maestro Cadenza, the harpsichord; Gugu Mbatha-Raw as Plumette, the feather duster; six-time Tony Award® winner Audra McDonald as Madame Garderobe, the wardrobe; Oscar nominee Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, the mantel clock; and two-time Academy Award® winner Emma Thompson as the teapot, Mrs. Potts.
Directed by Oscar® winner Bill Condon from a screenplay by TBD based on the 1991 animated film, the film is produced by Mandeville Films’ David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman with eight-time Oscar-winning composer Alan Menken, who won two Academy Awards® (Best Original Score and Best Song) for the 1991 animated film, providing the score, which will include new recordings of the original songs written by Menken and Howard Ashman, as well as several new songs written by Menken and three-time Oscar winner Tim Rice. “Beauty and the Beast” will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.
***Disclosure: I attended the #BeOurGuestEvent My flight, lodgings, and expenses were covered by Disney All opinions are 100% mine. ***