Luke Evans almost turned down the role of Gaston in 'Beauty and the Beast'.
Although the 37-year-old actor has delighted fans and critics with his portrayal of the villain Gaston in the new live-action take on the classic fairytale, he admitted that he almost said no to the part because he wasn't sure about it.
He told The Hollywood Reporter: "It took a couple of tries by my agents to get me in for 'Beauty and the Beast' because I hadn't really watched the animated movie for a very long time and I had forgotten how great the journey of Gaston is. You see all the facets of the character, from the loveable rogue to the buffoon to the jealous, revengeful sort of monster that he becomes by the end of the movie. So, it actually took me sitting down and watching the cartoon with my godchildren which made me see how brilliant the role was and that I totally should do it.
"If there's one thing I'm comfortable doing in this life it's singing. It's like therapy to me. I'll sing to anybody at any time, at anything, I will just sing. I love to sing. It was a joy for me to finally get to do it on the big screen in such a wonderful vehicle as Beauty and the Beast, playing this character with those songs. It was magic."
Luke also said the controversy over the "exclusively gay moment" in the Disney movie has been "blown out of proportion".
He said: "I think it has been blown out of proportion. Once people see the movie they'll be wondering what all the fuss was about. It wasn't even a conversation really. LeFou's character is probably the most redeveloped out of everybody. In the film he's just this two-foot-tall punch line, a butt in everyone's jokes. He has animals sit on his head, cymbals clash on his head, all these different ridiculous things that could only work in animated form. So when they brought that character into human form with Josh, a lot of thought was put into the character of LeFou and his connection to Gaston. There's a lot of authenticity there, they're like best buddies, they've been in each other's lives for a very long time. I remember when I was a young kid and I always looked up to my older friends and thought, 'Ah. One day I want to be like them. I want to play rugby like them. Everybody thinks they're the best, I want to be that person.'
"I think LeFou looks up to Gaston in that way -- as a hero. I certainly don't think there was anything more outside that relationship. They're just good friends. What's lovely about LeFou's character is he finds his soul and his identity throughout the movie just as everybody else does. It's a universal story and I think it's a wonderful decision by everybody that this was part of the story."
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