Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston & Le Fou, Luke Evans & Josh Gad #BeOurGuest

Posted on: March 14th, 2017 by

I was honored to be invited to the #BeOurGuestEvent, a Disney press junket for Beauty and the Beast, Moana Bluray, and other Disney and ABC TV programming. As a guest, my expenses were covered in return for a series of articles about my experiences and reviews of the programming.

 

Disney Beauty and the Beast Be Our Guest Press Junket

 

Last week, I started sharing the experiences I had during a magical few days in LA to celebrate not only the release of Beauty and the Beast in theaters, but also a number of other Disney movies and shows as well as ABC shows being launched or returning to TV. You can find all our stories, past and upcoming by clicking on #BeOurGuestEvent.

 

Beauty and the Beast Luke Evans (Gaston) Josh Gad (Le Fou)

 

Today, I will be chuckling to myself as I recall our group interview with Luke Evans and Josh Gad.

 

Luke Evans & Josh Gad are HILARIOUS!

Press interviews…. you expect them to be serious. The actors come in quiet, maybe stoic, but ready to answer questions and that’s it. They want to answer questions and move on. (That’s what I had expected. It’s not what happened. I will say that I had a thrilling experience with these #BeOurGuestEvent interviews, everyone was warm and open to our questions) So like I was saying, being too serious was not something we had to worry about when it came to interviewing Luke and Josh. From the moment they entered the room till our time was up, we were all laughing uncontrollably. I barely had a chance to catch my breath and ask a question. Had I not seen Luke Evans as Gaston and Josh Gad as Le Fou the night before, I would have had a very hard time believing they were bad guys… they were just that hilarious! Beauty and the Beast is available in theaters nationwide beginning this Friday, March 17, 2017.

 

Avoid waiting in lines at the theater or having tickets sold out. Buy your Beauty and the Beast tickets in advance by clicking HERE to buy your tickets through Fandango.

 

Beauty and the Beast Luke Evans (Gaston) and Josh Gad (Le Fou)

From the start we were laughing with Luke Evans and Josh Gad. Photo Credit Coralie Hughes Seright, LovebugsAndPostcards.com

 

Take a look at our interview with Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston & Le Fou, Luke Evans & Josh Gad

 

When Luke Evans and Josh Gad first sat down we praised them for the musical performance from the morning. They sang Gaston together with Alan Menken producer/composer for the Beauty and the Beast music. Josh responded to our praise with, “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, actually, I never thought I’d be someone who was so willing to sing for no reason at all. Until I met Luke Evans.” To which Luke responded, “We are literally cut from the same cloth.”

 

Watch the Beauty & the Beast Medley Alan Menken and actors Luke Evans (Gaston) and Josh Gad (Le Fou) did during the Beauty and the Beast press conference

 

After some laughter, we moved on to the questions.

Was there a lot of off screen trouble between the two of you?

Josh eluded to the fact that there still IS trouble going on between the two of them. Luke then went on to explain how he and Josh Gad enjoy making others laugh and what the movie meant to them.

 

Luke says, “We cause trouble wherever we go. But we 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. We were both kids when the animated Beauty and the Beast 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 because 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 these characers 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.”

 

Beauty and the Beast interview with Josh Gad and Luke Evans at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

Photo taken during our interview session with Luke Evans and Josh Gad. Photo Credit Coralie Hughes Seright, LovebugsAndPostcards.com

 

The chemistry between Josh Gad and Luke Evans

Clearly, these two had hit if off and Josh explained that chemistry to us a bit more.

 

Josh says, “But you’re always hoping {for moments and chemistry like that} – 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, I didn’t even realize we both came from musical theater. Luke from the West Side, me from Broadway. And 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. It was incredible.”

 

Beauty and the Beast interview with Josh Gad and Luke Evans at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

The laughter rarely stopped during our interview session with Luke Evans and Josh Gad. Photo Credit Coralie Hughes Seright, LovebugsAndPostcards.com

 

Comedy on the spot, improv moments from Beauty and the Beast

With two hilarious actors you might wonder did they make up any moments in Beauty and the Beast. Were they able to be funny while still being serious as Gaston and Le Fou? They most certainly were. Take a look at what Josh and Luke had to say about the moments they let their comedic talents take over.

 

Beauty-and-the-Beast-Gaston-Le-Fou-riding-horses

Luke Evans stars as Gaston and Josh Gad as Le Fou in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic directed by Bill Condon which brings the story and characters audiences know and love to life.

 

Josh says, “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. We had about like 30 variations of it. Some of them were even more insane than what you see on the screen.”

 

Beauty and the Beast Gaston Song scene

Gaston (Luke Evans) a handsome but arrogant brute, holds court in the village tavern in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, directed by Bill Condon, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic and a celebration of one of the most beloved stories ever told.

 

Another scene where Josh Gad did some improv was the singing of the song, Gaston. Josh kept changing up the ending. Even what you hear in the above version is different than what’s in Beauty and the Beast.

 

Josh says, I literally did about 30 different versions of that. [Luke says hundreds ;-) ] And then the one that they chose was the {the one where I} realized I’m illiterate. Every time we shot it it was different. Because every time my goal was to make Luke laugh. We got him in trouble. But there were so many opportunities. There’s also a lot of stuff on the cutting room floor, that I hope you’ll see on the Blu-Ray and the extras. “

 

Here’s a look at the “Gaston” musical video clip from BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

 

Favorite scene?

Of course, we had to ask about their favorite scene. Wouldn’t you know it their scene where they adlibbed the most, would prove to be their favorite scene of Beauty and the Beast.  Both, Josh Gad and Luke Evans explained.

 

Luke started, “It would have to be for me, the Gaston tavern sequence. For two reasons. One, my song. Two, it was the one piece of the whole film where we got to rehearse for four to five weeks. Because it was incredibly technical. We had all the villagers in the room. There’s vignette stories going on which you have to watch it a few times to know that, all that took a lot of time. And honestly, the music was playing throughout the whole thing. We have to get the characters onto tables. There was swords. There were murals that we have to reflect in the back of each shot. It was a lot of stuff going on, which took time and development and collaboration and a lot of working it out. But that’s what we come from. We have come from the theater, we’re used to that rehearsal experience. To have that on a film, was a joy. Also we got paid more.” Which of course caused all of us, in the room, to laugh.

 

Beauty and the Beast Luke Evans (Gaston)

Photo taken during our interview session with Luke Evans and Josh Gad. Photo Credit Coralie Hughes Seright, LovebugsAndPostcards.com

 

Josh added, “I agree. Not to sound redundant, but it is Gaston. It’s so rewarding to watch an audience now, after two years of working on this in some capacity or another, to now share it with an audience. And then to see the adrenaline boost that it gives the film when all of a sudden, out of nowhere this up tempo song with people dancing on the table. You can feel the energy of the audience wanting to jump into that and raise a glass to Gaston alongside of you. That is the brilliance of these Menken and Ashman songs; they are so unbelievably addicting. Luke and I have now been singing this song in one way or another, for … Luke completes his sentence, “for two years, crazy.” Josh says, “… It’s not because we want to, it’s because we can’t stop. It’s because we are literally haunted by these songs.” Their responses and addiction to the music only made us laugh more.

 

Beauty and the Beast Josh Gad (Le Fou)

Photo taken during our interview session with Luke Evans and Josh Gad. Photo Credit Coralie Hughes Seright, LovebugsAndPostcards.com

 

How did it feel to become Gaston? What about those costumes?

Josh responded right away to this question having a chuckle as he told us, “Oh, I can tell you, Luke with his body felt a lot better than I did. ”

 

Then, Luke explained “I’ve always said, and I always will say, because I think it is 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. We went through 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. I don’t know if you noticed, but that red jacket which is obviously so synonymous with Gaston in the original. It’s the same here. The jacket 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. 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 says, ‘Okay, well, say goodbye to the final time to Gaston.'”

 

Beauty and the Beast Wagon Scene with Gaston

Luke Evans is Gaston in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic, directed by Bill Condon.

 

Luke did say goodbye to his character, but as you read his quote I want you to picture Gaston looking into the mirror saying as he does in the movie ‘Well, hello you.’ That’s exactly how he said that line to us, facial gestures and all. It was a funny jovial moment and Luke went on to say, “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, {and made} people laugh. That’s quite a gift, because usually you just make the audience hate you, but we had the opportunity to do both.”

 

Why sign on to be in Beauty and the Beast? What were their families reactions?

By now you probably know that both Josh and Luke were going to infuse their humor into every answer. This one was no different. We asked them about why did they sign on to be a part of the movie, Beauty and Beast.

 

Josh responded first, “The money.” (We all laughed.) “Honestly, I literally would have done this movie for nothing. The reason I signed on was because it was so iconic. Beauty and the Beast was my Frozen. This was the movie I saw five times as a kid.” We knew exactly what Josh meant. He continued, “You know what I mean? Recreating these moments, these iconic moments that I grew up with, knowing that my daughters are going to grow up with this as hopefully their definitive version of the story.”

 

Luke referenced the, potentially disturbing movie poster as they both explored what Beauty and the Beast meant to their children and their children’s response.

 

Josh says about his children, “They looked at the character poster of me as Le Fou and they were terrified. Their response was like, a little kid seeing Jack Nicholson in The Shining for the first time, where he is so creepy. I was saying to Luke I can’t think of a big screen musical, live action, that my kids have seen on the silver screen in their lifetimes. That is unacceptable to me, coming from musical theater. Think about that. We’re not gonna take them to Moulin Rouge; we’re not gonna take them to Les Mis. This is going to be for many of your kids and my kids certainly, the first time they ever see a musical on screen, that isn’t animated. That’s huge.”

 

Beauty and the Beast Lefou

 

 

Luke continued,”My godchildren are very young and I’ve got lots of kids in my family, who are just a little tired of me making movies that they can’t watch. The day that I got offered the role, 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. They were happy but also a little sad that I was the bad guy. “

 

Beauty and the Beast interview with Josh Gad and Luke Evans at the Montage Hotel in Beverly Hills, CA.

Photo taken during our interview session with Luke Evans and Josh Gad. Photo Credit Coralie Hughes Seright, LovebugsAndPostcards.com

 

Most Challenging Scenes

Beauty and the Beast is a movie with adventurous action scenes. Another blogger asked, “Were there any parts that were challenging for your roles?” Luke Evans answered the question as he detailed the work required in his most challenging scene.

 

Luke says, “The physicality of the fight sequence at the end {of the movie} was demanding. It took a lot of stunt rehearsals and training. I had quite a few times on weekends where I came in and they had a big cherry picker which they would raise me another six feet and then another. I was on cables and I had to land. I had to jump and I just sort of reflected on what the Beast was doing in his beastly way. {But of course Gaston is battling him as a human}. I have to find a way about doing it like Spiderman with long hair. I managed to get it by the time we shot it. I think it was about a 42 foot leap that I do in the film with a cable. It’s a trust exercise. I mean, you’re trusting {your crew} with your life. (There was no stunt double) It’s an interesting thing to do. I found that quite challenging, but very rewarding. Thank God it’s in the film. They {action scenes} often don’t make the movie and then you’re really annoyed.”

 

Any Frozen references, in the Beauty and the Beast, for Josh Gad?

Well, yes and no. Josh shared, “There is a part where snow falls on him {Le Fou} and makes him a snowman. Which I tried. I fought to bring in the movie.” So Frozen fans, Josh tried. ;-)

 

What do Luke Evans and Josh Gad want us to take away from watching Beauty and the Beast?

We always want to know what do the actors, actresses, and producers want families to get out of watching a movie, beyond the entertainment of the movie itself. Josh Gad and Luke Evans shared a response that shows us not only are they fun, comedic characters, but they are also quite thoughtful and intelligent.

 

Josh said, “Gaston, in particular, represents a really interesting character. 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 {Beast} that nobody knows. People are scared of {him} because they’ve never seen him. They’re afraid of what he’s capable of. [The villagers are] feeding into those fears and going to attack someone based on the fact that you’ve never met him before, but what you believe he’s capable of. Well, that’s as relevant today as it was when Beauty and the Beast was first written. I think 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. That’s what I would say I hope they take from it.”

 

Beauty and the Beast Josh Gad and Luke Evans

Luke Evans is Gaston and Josh Gad is LeFou, in Disney’s BEAUTY AND THE BEAST, a live-action adaptation of the studio’s animated classic, directed by Bill Condon.

 

Luke adds, “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, she saves the Prince.” Josh adds in, “Multiple times.” Then, Luke continues, “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 not be right there and then but she knows there’s a world out there to conquer and to discover. She doesn’t need a man to do it. She’s a 21st Century Disney princess. Emma was exactly the right person to portray that character. [She’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 there’s girls who are quite young, they will look to her. You’ll be proud of them and happy for them. Belle, in this version, is a brilliant role model for young ladies and young boys as well. It’s not just one sex, it’s both, sexes can look at this young woman and see, that’s how you should be.”

 

Josh concludes, “That’s the other thing that I think is so wonderful about this movie and what Bill Condon has done, it’s just the inclusiveness of it all. I think that that’s a great lesson.”

 

 

While Luke Evans and Josh Gad certainly made us laugh a lot during our interview, we learned a lot through the laughter; about their personalities, about their characters, and about how great they were for these roles. Remember, you can click over to here, to read more of our Beauty and the Beast interviews.

 

Beauty and the Beast group picture with Luke Evans and Josh Gad

Photo taken during our interview session with Luke Evans and Josh Gad.

 

Watch Beauty and the Beast THIS FRIDAY at your local theater!

 

Tomorrow, our #BeOurGuestEvent series continues with a look at our interview with Audra McDonald (Garderobe) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (Plumette). You can get caught up with our #BeOurGuestEvent series anytime by clicking on #BeOurGuestEvent.

 

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