BB Exclusive: Josh Gad & Luke Evans Discuss LeFou & Gaston At The Beauty and the Beast Press ConferenceMarch 14, 2017 - Author: admin - No Comments
Luke Evans and Josh Gad recently discussed playing Gaston and LeFou while at the Los Angeles press conference for their new movie, Beauty And The Beast. The two discussed wanting the audience to establish a relationship with Gaston to the pressures of playing such iconic characters.
Luke on wanting the audience to establish a relationship with Gaston: “I just think a villain shouldn’t start out as the bad guy. A villain should end up being the bad guy, and I think with Gaston, outwardly, to a lot of people in that village, he is the hero.
He’s a bit of a stud, you know. He’s got the hair, he’s got the looks, he’s always impeccably dressed, not a bad singing voice. He’s got a great pal who makes everybody support him and sing about him. And I wanted the audience to – in a way, I just thought, let’s make them like him a little bit first, so that when the cracks start to appear, which they do very subtly, even from the door slam, you know, there’s something inside of him that he’s like, I’m not used to this, this isn’t how it goes, you know, this is not what she’s supposed to be doing.”
Josh on the pressure of playing an iconic Disney character: “I remember first getting the call, and I immediately flashed back to being a kid. I was 10 years old, it was 1991, and I saw the movie in a small theater in south Florida, and I remember that the response was something I had never seen before, which was audiences applauding after these animated characters were singing these songs. It was very unusual. Beauty and the Beast, Little Mermaid and Aladdin. I cannot tell how important that was. So I got nauseous.
I was like how am I going to bring a song like “Gaston” to life? And I went into my office and I started singing it, and I literally started choking up, because you cut to like yourself as a kid, you think back to yourself as a kid, you’re like, oh my god, I’m doing this, like I’m doing this for real, and I’m going to be the version that a lot of kids are going to see. And that was such a thrill. And my kids walked into the office and were so tickled that Daddy was singing this song that they know so well, and I thought to myself, this is going to work, this is going to work, we’re going to work at it but we’re going to make it our own.”
Luke on how he opted to play Gaston: “…he keeps believing that Belle will change her mind, that’s where the cracks appear in my thought process and then slowly, you know, the jealousy takes over, and who he becomes, especially Gaston as opposed to other Disney villains, he has no book of spells, he has no magic powers. He’s a human being, and he uses his status within that village to rouse a crowd and he does it all from just being himself, which is quite terrifying in a way.
So I played on that, I played on the humanity of the character as much as he is larger than life. There was a lot to pull on, and obviously he was a war hero of sorts, we [Bill Condon and himself] decided, from the past.
That’s why his murals are all over the pub that he drinks in. And there is a slight soldier, this animalistic soldier, in him when he finally fights the Beast on the rooftops. You see this man out for blood, and it’s a scary moment to see the arc of somebody who was the loveable buffoon of the village to become the Beast almost, the monster.”
Josh on the moment he knew he was working on something special: “It was that first day that we did the table read that I remember watching Luke perform the choreography for “Gaston” – took me a little longer to get it – and Emma performing “Beauty and the Beast”, and Emma Thompson performing the song, and all of these pieces coming together before our eyes, and I don’t think there was a single one of us who didn’t have goosebumps and wasn’t immediately like – and of course Audra, you know, singing is like for a private concert, like that is like the stuff that dreams are made of.”
Beauty And The Beast opens in theaters on March 17.