The much-anticipated live-action Beauty and the Beast boasts a cast of stage luminaries, including Tony nominee Josh Gad as Lefou, Sir Ian McKellen as Cogsworth, and six-time Tony winner Audra McDonald as the Garderobe. Turns out, we can add Luke Evans as Gaston to that list.
Known for his roles in such films as The Hobbit, the Fast & Furious franchise, and 2016’s The Girl on the Train, Evans comes from theatre. From 2000–08, Evans appeared on London’s West End as Roger in Rent, Chris in Miss Saigon, as well as roles in Avenue Q, Taboo, and La Cava. “Singing was my first love, and I wanted to bring it back,” said Evans, “and it was nice to be able to merge the film career with the musical theatre career.”
As the villainous Gaston, Evans relished the comedy in the role. “He’s a total idiot, but he’s so much fun,” said Evans. Even though he loves the role now, when asked to do the film, he originally wanted to play the Beast, until he re-watched the Disney animated film with his godchildren. “It was re-watching the animation that sold it to me, watching him look at himself in the mirror and him telling himself how beautiful he was to himself, like, ‘Ok, this is gonna be fun.’”
Evans and the company had so much fun filming, he “didn’t want it to finish.” He screened a video of backstage shenanigans—singing a duet of “A Whole New World” with Gad—on the morning show and allowed a glimpse at his character’s big number.
The actor gushed over the opportunity to work on the film. “It’s Disney!” he exclaimed. “You’re bringing an animated character that people have known for so long to life; it’s an honor, but it’s so much fun.”