Chatting with Josh Gad and Luke Evans
One of the coolest things about my job is that I get to travel and meet people that I wouldn’t otherwise meet. On March 5, 2017 I traveled to Los Angeles with Disney and helped provide coverage for an amazing film, Beauty and The Beast. The animated version has been my favorite for as long as I could remember but the live action film is equally as stunning and is something that everyone should watch.
This particular morning we spent some time chatting and taking pictures of the large press day event and in that room we had a performance by Alan Menkin. He is a musical genius in every sense of the word but at the end of his performance he had a couple young gentlemen join him and that was Josh Gad and Luke Evans. To say it was a surprise performance would be the understatement of the year, but those three men are magnificent when you put them together. Stay tuned for more details coming soon about that, but after their performance we went into our “mommy blogger” press room where we got to chat with Josh Gad and Luke Evans.
It was fun for them to play these characters and to bring them to life they both had a lot of fun doing that as well as had a few laughs. But the most important thing was that they both felt lucky to be involved in such a great movie from their childhood. The first sequence of the duo was when they were riding in the wagon with Maurice. But the two characters came up with the idea of calming down Luke with stories about war was came up with on the spot. They actually had 30 variations of that scene and some were admittedly more insane that the one in movie. The chemistry was there between Luke and Josh and they brought their characters to life with a musical theater flare.
“They both had a common goal though, and it was wanting to do the film justice, because it was so pivotal in our childhoods.” Josh Gad.
Luke Evans, said, that the Disney animation films such as LITTLE MERMAID, BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, ALADDIN and LION KING, defined him growing up. Those Allen Menken, Howard Ashman songs, they really were the soundtrack to my childhood. So bringing a song like Gaston to life, that’s like a dream come true. So it was incredible.
Trying on Gaston
The look is half of his ego, the hair, the fitted red leather which took them about four or five leather jackets before they found the color of blood red that made it perfect. That represented the sinister part of his nature as well as synonymous with Gaston in the original. That only goes on when he puts Maurice into the carriage to lock him up. That was the first time that the audience sees it and they made that conscious decision. Each button had antlers on them and the pinky ring Luke wore also had an antler impressed into red stone. Gaston’s antler themed looked fantastic but when he put on the wig is when Gaston truly arrived. The last day Luke wore the wig and Gaston costume he took it off and his hair/makeup lady said, “okay, well, say goodbye to the final time.” And he said in his most Gaston voice, “Well hello you.” It was priceless and something that I will always remember. But he admitted it was hard to let the character go, because they had so much fun bringing happiness to villains and making people laugh.
Bringing LeFou to Life
LeFou in the original movie was a product of cartoon conceits. His teeth were knocked out, the is thrown across the room by Gaston. But in this version Lefou has an interesting arc where he starts to question his 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. They didn’t remake Beauty and The Beast but kept building on the legacy of that which everyone is awaiting and looking forward too.
There are new songs, new moments and a new collective experience that feels old in the best way but also in an amazing way that was so important to the film according to Josh.
They both loved making them hate you, but also love you which is why the characters Gaston and LeFou were brought to life and in the end had full redemption.
This is one interview that I will not soon forget and am very thankful we got a group shot to prove it really happened. Both Josh and Luke were amazing and it truly was like sitting down and chatting with a old friends. Be sure you head out on March 17th to watch Beauty and The Beast at a theater near you. I promise it will be worth the wait.
About Beauty and The Beast
The film, which brings the story and characters audiences know and love to life in a stunning, cinematic event, is directed by Bill Condon and features an extraordinary ensemble cast which includes Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Audra McDonald, Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson.
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 will be released in U.S. theaters on March 17, 2017.