Beauty and the Beast is a live action movie that is still able to work a lot of magic thanks to the wonders of special effects. One of those wonders involved transforming former Downton Abbey actor Dan Stevens into the Beast, which meant he had to be a whole lot taller than he is in real life. In order to perform plenty of scenes, including that major waltz scene with other Beauty and the Beast lead Emma Watson, Dan Stevens had to learn to move completely on stilts. Recently Dan Stevens spoke out to explain how proud he was to accomplish that waltz scene, as well as to not maim Emma Watson in the process. Here's what he had to say.
Initially with the waltz I learned the steps on the ground and graduated to the stilts, which was slightly terrifying for me but probably more for Emma. I think she was very worried that I was going to tread on her toes in steel stilts, which could've ruined the movie, but I didn't, so I'm very proud of that.
Speaking out about the making of Beauty and the Beast, Dan Stevens earlier revealed his costume included stilts. If you know much about stilts, you may know they can be difficult, even when you aren't dancing. However, the actor also had to endure learning the steps to the waltz--a dance that requires you to be graceful--and then performing those steps with the clunky accessories on. There was presumably more of the movie to film after the stilts scene, so it's not really a shock that that he was worried about moving the wrong way and injuring his dancing partner.
Dan Stevens also told People that he had three months of pre-production to prepare for the big box office movie, so it's not as if he got thrown in to practice for the waltz them one day and perform it the next. He got good at them after he broke the stilts in, and Stevens laughingly revealed that moving around is key to stilts preparation.
You've just got to get in 'em, start moving around!
If you caught the Beauty and the Beast already, but weren't really paying attention to Dan Stevens' feet, we have you covered, thanks to a full body photo from Disney, which really makes it apparent what the stilts did to help the actor gain height.
A lot of actors do end up with costumes that can be constricting or difficult to move in. These items can range from suits that add fat to corsets to costumes that require cooling units and much, much more. Stilts may be among the most surprising, but it will certainly be a task that Dan Stevens will be proud of accomplishing for some time. Who wouldn't want to be that towering, even if it's just for a brief moment? I'd give it a shot.