Josh Gad Addresses Gay ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Character at L.A. Premiere: ‘It’s Important’

Beauty and the Beast Premiere
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“It’s the crown jewel. The movie itself is an institution,” producer of the live-action “Beauty and the Beast” film David Hoberman said of the 1991 Oscar-winning original film.

Under a large clear tent the length of multiple blocks of Hollywood Boulevard, Disney made magic happen and brought the film back to life. The Thursday night premiere of “Beauty and the Beast” paired nostalgia and new beginnings to celebrate the release of the live-action version of one of Disney’s most cherished animated classics.

New traits have been added to the live-action remake, including Josh Gad‘s portrayal of LeFou as Disney’s first openly gay character.

“It was something we developed as a part of a lot of things about LeFou,” said director Bill Condon. “I’m excited for the moment that he has. I don’t want to give too much away because I think it’s part of a whole celebration of love, but Disney’s been great about it. That’s the thing; the whole ethic of that company is inclusion.”

Condon also confirmed, “It’s a kind of lovely little sprinkling.”

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Gad shared that he was very happy to be a part of this particular moment in Disney history, adding, “As subtle as it is, I do think it’s going to be effective and I do think it’s important.”

As if they were at a ball themselves, guests at the premiere were treated to a reception with live music, buffets of macarons and petit fours, juggling jokers on stilts, manicurists and masquerade face painters, a special Oculus virtual reality experience, displays of Swarovski jewelry and tables topped with Luxe Bloom long-lasting roses under glass coverings much like the Beast’s enchanted flower.

Aside from those in the tent, hoards of fans lined the streets outside the El Capitan Theatre screaming as the film’s stars made their arrival.

The big names like Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans and Gad, the carpet was attended by the original Belle herself Paige O’Hara, Watson’s “Harry Potter” castmate Matthew LewisJohn Legend and Chrissy Teigen, and even Matt Damon.

Watson, in lieu of finishing up interviews, posed with young fans for pictures and had a special moment reuniting with her Beast, Stevens, before entering the theater. The film’s magic was not lost on either of them.

“Your imagination can go crazy,” Evans said of the fantasy film. He added that to prepare for the “monstrous” role of Gaston, he chugged raw eggs in the morning and told his reflection in a mirror how handsome he was, just as his character does in the film.

“Bringing these characters into the 3D world, we’re literally dimensionalizing them,” Stevens said of the recreation. “We’re finding some of their human qualities.”

Others remarked on the film’s lasting legacy and its return to the screen, included Celine Dion, who said the film is largely responsible for bringing her to where she is today. She added how grateful she was to Legend for helping to recreate the iconic song, “Beauty and the Beast” for the updated soundtrack.

“It’s really gratifying,” prolific Disney composer Alan Menken remarked on seeing the songs he wrote 26 years ago come back to life. “It’s hard work. It’s a new collaboration – on the one hand protecting what was there and on the other hand, I really want to be a part of collaborating and expanding along with everyone else.”

The collaboration paid off. Inside the theater, foot-thick garlands and glistening chandeliers hung from the ceiling while strings of crystals danced in front of the red curtain. An eight-piece string ensemble played guests to their seats as they looked around in wonder and awe, clearly amazed that they too got to be a part of Disney history.

Leaving the venue, there was a feeling of relief hanging in the crowd. Those who worked on the film congratulated each other on finishing the years-long project. Producer Todd Lieberman shook hands with his crew, saying to one pal, “We’re done, brother.”

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  1. tallenstreetz says:

    Not Disney’s first gay character. Check out article by tallenstreetz.tumblr.com

  2. Jim says:

    Won’t be taking my kids now I guess.

  3. Gibson says:

    Perhaps disney could produce a move depicting the fate of sodom and gomorrah. The part about the piller of salt would be especially fantastic.

  4. Chip Grant says:

    Help me get this “straight.” Some people are upset about the inclusion of a secondary character’s same sex feelings … in a fairy tale; and yet, the same individuals are content to ignore the major “beastiality” theme that lies at the heart of tale (tail)??? There must be a splinter in my eye. Does anyone else see this pharisaic objection by some (not all) Christians over a minor sub-plot as being myopic at best? Thank you to the Walt Disney Corporation, for beginning to show the complexity and, dare I say, “the beauty” of human relationships in “Beauty and the Beast”. In 2017, the 80th anniversary year of Disney making films which have delighted people the world over, thank you for welcoming those for whom love is not just black or white, good or bad. What a pity that the outrage over the recent release of “Beauty and the Beast” comes from individuals who feel offended and ostracized because they continue to cling to an even smaller, “Small World” view.

  5. Steve says:

    Oh, boy. Here come the whiny anti-gay bigots.

  6. Moose says:

    Gad is sucking the gay Hollywood teat, “um, yeah, um,,,being gay is important.” Oh, brother.

  7. J Cline says:

    I’d rather see a new specially-gay character written in, than homosexualize existing characters.

    Also, Lumiere is obviously flaming…

  8. Quincy says:

    Yeah, Gad, suck up and toe that Hollywood PC line lest you be intolerantly blackballed.

    • Kevin Lauer says:

      It’s odd that Quincy and Moose feel that Josh is somehow toeing some line of political correctness, rather than just genuinely believing in the concept of inclusion. Maybe it makes them feel better about their own beliefs to project onto Josh the idea that he doesn’t -really- agree with this kind of change, he’s just going along with it because that’s what Hollywood demands. But the general reality is that if you actually worked in Hollywood, or at Disney Land/World, you would understand that there are a -lot- of LGBT individuals working within those communities. For the members of those communities, it’s just normal. For the children of gay and lesbian couples, it actually helps them to feel included as well, when they see the family structure that they know and are a part of on their tv sets and up on movie screens. Sometimes it can be hard to put yourself in the shoes of others, and to see things as they see them, but no one said progress was easy.

      • Quad says:

        Or maybe they are dead-on right about Gad toeing the liberal Nazi line to keep getting work.

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