Disney is bringing about a whole new line of feature films by reinventing their animated classics into live-action movies, but now, they are taking things a step further. The trending news over the last few months has been on the live-action Beauty and the Beast which is set to be released in just a couple of weeks. Now, the film has gained even more attention by announcing it will have the studio’s first openly gay character.
Yes, there are going to be some changes to the new live-action version of Beauty and the Beast, but fans know what it is modeled after. As time draws closer for it to be released in theaters, the hype only keeps getting bigger and in the last 24 hours, it has reached extremely new heights.
April’s edition of Attitude had an interview with director Bill Condon who dropped a pretty big bombshell regarding one of the side characters. No, it isn’t about Emma Watson’s Belle or Dan Stevens’ Beast or Luke Evans’ Gaston, but about Josh Gad’s LeFou.
Condon spoke a good deal about his film, but it is the tidbit he revealed about LeFou that has taken things to a different place and has everyone talking. Yes, Condon reveals that Gad’s LeFou is actually gay and that makes him the first openly gay character in a Disney film.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston (Evans). He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
As E News pointed out, this will be the first time an openly LGBTQ character is going to appear onscreen for Disney in one its huge blockbuster films. Josh Gad is not only proud of his work for the company, but also for what he’s accomplishing with his portrayal of LeFou.
Bill Condon points out how the character of LeFou is one who wants to be Gaston one day and kiss Gaston the net day. Obviously, this lets the world know that he is gay, but there is a bit of irony to this whole situation.
Luke Evans plays the character of Gaston who is a big and burly brute looking toward one goal and that is making Belle his wife. Well, the ironic thing is that Evans is actually a homosexual and he discussed finally coming out and not hiding it any longer in a 2014 piece from TIME.
The Beauty and the Beast director spoke of the late Howard Ashman who the live-action film is dedicated to. The brilliant lyricist passed away before the animated version of Beauty and the Beast hit theaters, and Condon says that he saw the circumstances of Beast as a “metaphor for AIDS.”
“He was cursed, and this curse had brought sorrow on all those people who loved him, and maybe there was a chance for a miracle and a way for the curse to be lifted… It was a very, very concrete thing that he was doing.”
Dan Stevens, who plays the Beast, says that it is about “that sense of persecution” due to “his appearance.”
As reported by Vanity Fair, the admittance of LeFou being openly gay is a touching tribute to Ashman who lost his battle with AIDS before seeing his hard work completed. This version of Beauty and the Beast will be so much more than just a film on the screen, and the filmmakers are making sure of it.
Those who are huge fans of the House of Mouse and all of their works will argue that LeFou was a homosexual in the animated classic version of Beauty and the Beast. No, they never actually came out and said it, but chances are they wouldn’t have in this film either. The only thing is that they’ve announced Josh Gad’s character as being openly gay before the movie has even hit theaters and Disney has only upped things even more for what is sure to be a hit.
[Featured Image by Disney]