The 1991 animated classic Beauty and the Beast is one of Disney’s most beloved movies. Now that the animated version has been remade into a live-action remake, there is one modern twist that has caught the attention of many.
In the new film, set to release on March 17th, there will be Disney’s first openly gay character in a feature film. Director Bill Condon revealed that Gaston’s sidekick LeFou, played by Josh Gad, will be gay.
Gad is a Tony nominee who played the voice of Olaf in Frozen. He’s married to Ida Darvish since 2008 and the couple have two children. In Beauty and the Beast, Gad will be playing LeFou who has a secret crush on Gaston. It should be noted that LeFou will have his own happily ever after moment in the movie.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” said Condon. “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.”
“That’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away,” Condon added. “But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
In the original animated film, lyricist Howard Ashman was responsible for making the movie what it was, and he himself was gay and had AIDS.
“It was his idea, not only to make it into a musical but also to make Beast one of the two central characters,” Condon explained. “Until then it had mostly been Belle’s story that they had been telling.”
“Specifically for him it was a metaphor for AIDS,” Condon continued. “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 concrete thing that he was doing.”
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