Actress Audra McDonald says starring in the new Beauty and the Beast film is a dream come true for her after missing out on a role in the Broadway stage musical back in 1993. The actress, a six-time Tony Award winner, was just starting out when she auditioned for a minor part in the theatre adaptation of the hit animated movie musical – and she failed to catch the eye of Disney composer Alan Menken.
More than two decades later, Audra tried her luck again as studio bosses began looking for stars for the live-action revamp, and this time she was successful, landing the character of the Wardrobe, Madame Garderobe. And as the cast and crew prepared to begin production, Audra made a point to jokingly remind Menken of his casting snub years earlier.
“I auditioned to be in the ensemble (for the Broadway musical) and I wasn’t cast and I was devastated, and then, you know, things worked out!,” McDonald says.
“Then the night before we started filming in London, I said to Alan Menken at a dinner, I said, ‘Hey, I auditioned for
you back in 1993 for the Broadway (show)…’ He was like, ‘I know, I know, I know! Is this OK instead?’ I said, ‘Yeah, this is pretty good!’
Actor Luke Evans says he relished every moment of playing the “ridiculous, self-absorbed and terrifying” villain Gaston in Beauty and the Beast.
The 37-year-old actor says he feels liberated after the role as his character was so different to himself in real life, reported Contactmusic.
“It’s fun to play a character who does all the things you’d never dare to do in real life. It’s liberating – you can’t feel self-conscious about playing somebody like Gaston, you just have to go with it,” Evans said.
“I owe it to the animated giant of a creature we see in the original to be that ridiculous and self-absorbed and terrifying. And to enjoy it.”