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Did Beyonce Really Skip The Lion King Cast Photos? John Oliver Tells Story

You might as well change the title to The Lion Queen, because when Beyoncé is part of your cast, she’s going to be the center of attention. It’s clear in the cast photo for Disney’s most recent photo-realistic Lion King remake, where the vocalist stands tall in the middle of the photo amongst her co-stars. Take a look:

A photo posted by on

There’s one inconsistency here. During the rest of the cast’s press tour, many of them admitted to have never met Queen Bey. Donald Glover, who plays the Simba to her Nala, didn’t even record the signature song “Can You Feel the Love Tonight” in the same room as her. Beyoncé is a busy woman: she’s been on tour, writing music (she even dropped a Lion King inspired album) and raising her three children in between the making of The Lion King. So was she photoshopped into this cast photo? Here’s what the film’s Zazu, John Oliver says:

Chiwetel was sitting in the front and he said, ‘You need to be careful where your foot is. I looked down and there was just this piece of tape on the floor with Beyoncé’s name written on it!

There is a huge gap between Beyoncé and the rest of the actors. They had to be mindful of leaving room for her with a piece of tape with her name on it! The Last Week Tonight host continued telling the hilarious story with these words:

It was like an electrical reaction. Just the future presence of Beyoncé was so intimidating. If you look at my face in there, I look really intimidated and that’s because what I’m doing is imagining that I am about to be put into a photo with Beyoncé one day, and that was nerve-wracking enough!

That’s the power of Beyoncé. She doesn’t even need to be there for her future presence to be felt! It is pretty funny to look at the picture with this new perspective on it. Take a look at everyone's faces with this in mind. Billy Eichner looks a bit stressed about the idea of sharing a photo with Beyoncé, while Chiwetel Ejiofor looks positively overjoyed! Donald Glover is playing it cool, his face says: "What Beyoncé’s behind me? I didn’t even notice."

Check out John Oliver relay the story on a recent appearance of The Late Show with Stephen Colbert below:

The Lion King broke the July record with a $185 million opening weekend and has made a total of $564 million so far. While Beyoncé had something to do with it, the film also features cutting-edge visuals helmed by The Jungle Book’s Jon Favreau.

There’s also a talented voice cast, including Billy Eichner and Seth Rogen’s scene-stealing Timon and Pumbaa. However, critics weren’t kind to the remake, awarding it with a Rotten Score of 52%.

The Lion King is in theaters now.

Sarah El-Mahmoud

YA genre tribute. Horror May Queen. Word webslinger. All her writing should be read in Sarah Connor’s Terminator 2 voice over.