Before getting to sit down with Josh Gad and Luke Evans for their roles in Beauty And The Beast we were surprised by a performance of their song of Gaston…what a treat! I had no clue that Josh Gad was from South Florida and now that I know that, we are connected (even if he doesn’t know it) and I had no idea just how dreamy Luke was. Their chemistry on and off-screen was pretty amazing and made for a great interview.
Here’s what Josh Gad and Luke Evans had to say…
On Performing Songs Together
Josh Gad: 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, that’s really – I never thought I’d be someone who was so willing to sing for no reason at all. Until I met Luke Evans.
Luke Evans: We are literally cut from the same cloth.
Being fans of Beauty And The Beast Growing Up
Luke Evans: …It was just a lot of fun playing these characters. You know, first of all, we were massive, massive fans of the original. You know, 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. And to bring them to life, we both felt very lucky. And we knew that we could have a lot of fun and laugh.
Improving & Their Chemistry on Set
Josh Gad: …The first sequence when the two of us are riding in that wagon with Maurice. That whole idea [LAUGHS] of calming Luke down with stories about the war, [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] was something that we literally came up with on the spot. Yeah, weirdoes and [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] – 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. And the day I met Luke, especially because I didn’t even realize we both came from musical theater.
Luke Evans: Mmmmmmm.
Josh Gad: 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. So it was incredible.
Playing the role of Gaston
How did you feel when you tried on your Gaston for the first time?
Josh Gad: [LAUGHS] Oh, I can tell you, Luke with his body felt a lot better than I did. [AUDIENCE LAUGHTER] [LAUGHS] I can tell you right off the bat.
Luke Evans: I’ve always said, and I always will say, because I think it – 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. You know, we went to about four or five incarnations of that leather jacket before we found the right color of blood [LAUGHS] red. That represented the sinister part of his nature. Because I don’t know if you noticed, but that red jacket which is obviously 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. And that’s the first time you see it. And 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.
But 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…that’s quite a gift ’cause usually you just make them hate you. But we had the opportunity to do both.
Want more Beauty And The Beast? Check out:
On March 17th, rediscover a tale as old as time!