Last week, I had the great pleasure to interview Josh Gad and Luke Evans. I was geeking out big time to meet Josh Gad. He cracks me up and I loved him as Olaf in Frozen. When I found out he was going to be LeFou, I knew that the new Beauty and the Beast was going to be a huge hit. As soon as you see the first scene with LeFou, you know it’s going to be a hilarious movie!
Before going into the our special interview room, we watched a performance at the media Press Junket from Luke Evans and Josh Gad singing Gaston. Here is it for your viewing pleasure. Stay until the end so you don’t miss the added joke that Josh Gad added just for us.
After we complemented Josh Gad and Luke Evans on the performance, Josh Gad said, “The truth is, you don’t need to beg us to do a performance. Luke and I will sing at the drop of a coin. But it’s a problem. I never thought I’d be someone who was so willing to sing for no reason at all, until I met Luke Evans.” Luke chimes and says, “We are literally cut from the same cloth.” Josh agrees.
Special Thanks to Coralie of Lovebugs and Postcards for taking these amazing photos.
Light Spoilers to Follow
Causing Trouble Together
Luke Evans talks about causing trouble with Josh Gad. “We cause trouble wherever we go. But, make people laugh in the process. It was just a lot of fun playing these characters. First of all, we were massive fans of the original. 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. To bring them to life, we both felt very lucky. We knew that we could have a lot of fun and laugh. There were moments when some of the funniest moments we had, I think are things that we made up on the moment.”
Bringing Gaston & LeFou to Life
Josh Gad chimes in discussing the moments that were made up on the spot in Beauty and the Beast. “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 was something that we literally came up with on the spot. Yeah, widows and all that. 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. 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.”
“We have this common language and this common understanding. 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. Those Allen Menken, Howard Ashman songs, they really were the soundtrack to my childhood. Bringing a song like Gaston to life, that’s like a dream come true. So it was incredible.”
Being a Villain that Makes People Laugh
Luke Evans discussing getting into character. “A massive part of my creation of a character, especially somebody like Gaston – the look is half of his ego. The hair and the fitted red leather. 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 is 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. That’s the first time you see it. 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 Gaston. 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.”
Full Redemption of LeFou
By the end of the film, LeFou is fully redeemed and loved. Josh Gad talks about what he brought to LeFou that was not in the original. To Josh, full redemption of the LeFou was extremely important. “The character in the original movie is, he is a product of cartoon conceits. He has his teeth knocked out. He’s literally thrown across rooms by Gaston multiple times. There is a part where snow falls on him and makes him a snowman. Which I tried. Which I fought to bring in the movie.”
“For me, it was about adding dimension. One of the things that I really loved about LeFou in this particular version is that 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. That was such an interesting thing to play.We didn’t want to just literally recreate a movie that, in of itself is pretty perfect. 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. We give them new surprises. 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. That was so important to us.”
Live Action Musical
Since Josh Gad and Luke Evans both come from the theater, they love that this film will bring musicals to children. Josh gad makes an excellent point, “This is gonna be for many of your kids and my kids certainly, the first time they ever see a musical screen, that isn’t animated. That’s huge. That’s huge. Recreating these iconic moments that I grew up with, knowing that my daughters are gonna grow up with this as hopefully their definitive version of the story.”
Luke chimes in to talk about the kids in his life. “My godchildren are very young and I’ve got lots of kids in my family, who are just a little tired of me noodling movies that they can’t watch. The day that I got offered it, the first thing I did was text all their parents and just say to them, “I’m gonna be in BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, and they can finally come to the cinema.” They all were at the London premiere. Weirdly, they were happy, but also a little sad that I was the bad guy. We can’t win on here.”
Gaston Uses Antlers in all his Decorating
All this talk of Antlers got me excited about adding faux antlers into your home decor. Usually, you think of adding it cabins like in Beauty and the Beast, but I have seen people add it into their homes in a modern way. Faux antler accent pieces are a chic addition to eclectic decor. Check out some of my favorite faux antler items.
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