Dan Stevens may be unrecognizable in his role as “The Beast” in Beauty And The Beast but his charm shines through (well not at the beginning of the movie, LOL). As he sat there chatting with us, I could see why he has quite the fan base. Here’s what Dan Stevens had to say…
I didn’t really have a costume. Well, I did have a costume. They made costumes for the Beast. They were really giant coats that he wore, and this massive shredded cloak, but I never actually got to put it on. I spent the whole time, as the Beast, anyway, in a forty pound muscle suit on stilts covered in gray lycra. So I looked pretty odd, but nothing like the Beast that you see in the movie.
Bringing the Beast to Life
…so it was motion capture puppeteering of the suit. I’m inside a giant muscle suit on stilts, so the Beast’s body was, was me moving inside there. The facial capture was done separately, and every two weeks, I’d go into this booth, and ten thousand UV dots would be sprayed on my face, and twenty seven little cameras would capture everything I’ve been doing for the past two weeks just with my face. So it was my face driving that Beast’s face and they turned that information digitally into the Beast’s face and map it onto the body that I’d been working on the set…lots of CGI and also it is me driving it and it’s an amazing new technology that’s never been used this extensively before, and it’s very, very exciting.
Preparing for their dance scene
Wow, it was about three months training for that…it was a lot of dance training for this, and particularly for that iconic waltz. Then I graduated to the stilts…Yeah, waltzing on stilts. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] Not something I thought I would ever be able to say.
His daughter’s input on Belle’s dress
There was a lot of, a lot of chewing and throwing with that dress design, and during that extensive design period, Emma came over to my house in London for dinner, and we were talking about the dress…And what the dress was gonna look like, and my five year old daughter at the time sort of overheard our conversation, and she scurried into the next room with a pen a paper and came back about a half an hour later with five different dress designs.
…Emma was very, very sweet. She sat down with Willow and she looked through them all, and they chose which one they thought that they should go with. Anyway, a few weeks later, Willow came on set and saw Emma in the finished dress, and she’s, yep, that’s the one. [LAUGHTER]. So in her mind, she designed that dress.
Most exciting scene filmed
I’m gonna say the waltz…I mean, I suppose, the most iconic scene that we were really looking to replicate, and the feeling of the waltz, I highly recommend you all go and try it. Take a partner; go and take a waltz lesson. It’s an amazing feeling when you get it right and there’s something about the sort of swirling motion of two people doing that, especially in stilts which is quite weird. [AUDIENCE LAUGHS] But it was very satisfying to have completed that sequence and feel like we captured the magic of that original dance, I suppose.
What he hopes the audience takes away from the film
I remember even for me, the animated film as being a Disney film that was immediately loved by boys and girls. I actually have a great friend of mine who’s now in his mid-thirties. He grew up in the west of England in the countryside, who for him, Belle was his greatest hero, and he used to go into the fields of Somerset and sing, I want to venture in the great wide somewhere [AUDIENCE LAUGHS], you know, because there is something about the spirit of Belle that is to be championed in all of us. I think that curiosity, that imagination, that ability to see beneath the surface deep, but also to see beyond your immediate surroundings. She has tremendous vision in all ways, and I think that’s something to be applauded.
Needless to say, interviewing Dan Stevens was pretty cool!
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On March 17th, rediscover a tale as old as time!