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When it comes to Disney villains, they don't get much more bombastic than Gaston from Beauty and the Beast. He easily ranks as one of the vainer, more arrogant popular pop culture figures, and he's a perfectly and fittingly cartoonish villain for the 1991 feature. With the character changing mediums for the upcoming live-action film, however, you might worry that we won't be getting the same kind of treatment for Gason. Fortunately, star Luke Evans is here to assure you that there is plenty of theatricality in his performance that should make fans happy.
With his new movie The Girl On The Train opening in theaters this Friday, I had the pleasure of hopping on the phone with Luke Evans this past week -- and while most of our conversation centered on his latest movie, I used my last couple questions to ask about Gaston and Beauty and the Beast. Curious about his performance, I asked if he was able to translate the cartoonishness of the character in his performance, and he shared that it was actually one of the rare pleasures he got from playing the part. Said Evans,
There's definitely a theatricality that I can bring to this role that I don't usually get to do. There's a slight heightened reality to the film. It's Disney and we're re-creating a much loved Disney story. He's larger than life in every respect. No, it's definitely really fun to play, and I did get to do more theatricality.
Of course, it's important that Gaston not just be a silly, over-the-top idiot, as that wound undercut just how villainous his actions get towards the end of the narrative. Fortunately, this is something that Luke Evans and director Bill Condon fully understood, and as such actually had a really strong arc for the character bending across the length of Beauty and the Beast. He may come across as a goofy, muscle-headed buffoon when we first meet him, but by the end he becomes a legitimate threat to the heroes you want to see live happily ever after. The actor explained,
It was really fun to play this character, because it's such a great arc, such a great like arc. He starts as a kind of lovable rogue - says all these self-absorbed egocentric phrases and has his crazy sidekick. And then once he starts to realize he's not going to get his own way, the facade starts to crack, and there's a monster appears, and he ends up being quite the villain.
Basically, it sounds like Luke Evans' version of Gaston in Bill Condon's Beauty and the Beast is exactly what we want to see from the character in live-action -- and that only makes us that much more excited for the blockbuster.
Sadly, we still have a while to wait until Beauty and the Beast arrives in theaters, as the film is still deep in post-production and not scheduled for release on March 17, 2017. In the meantime, you can catch Luke Evans this Friday in The Girl On The Train - and be sure to stay tuned for more from my interview!