Luke Evans, an actor best known for his villainous roles as Shaw in Fast & Furious 6, Vlad in Dracula Untold, and Detective Fields in The Raven, is proud to see how Disney has allowed its characters to evolve.
In an interview with Entertainment, Evans gave Gaston a backstory and reveals why he thinks Gaston is such a terrifying villain, stating, “You sort of quite like the dude, don’t you? As much as he’s annoying and stupid, everyone wants a Gaston in their gang. He’s somebody to laugh at…but I wanted to enjoy those moments because then the reveal of this insane monster that he becomes is even more terrifying.”
He continued, saying, “I see him as the biggest villainous threat in any of the Disney films. He has no special powers. He’s not Jafar, or Ursula, or Maleficent. He’s a human being! He’s an arrogant, narcissistic, bigoted, chauvinistic, self-absorbed man who, once he’s told no, is driven by jealousy and revenge to fuel the fear of quite an idiotic group of villagers to go kill something they’ve never seen before.”
Evans also had something interesting to say about Emma Watson’s role as Belle. In an interview for BUILD Series, he remarked, “What’s so great about Emma is she is an incredible and well-read human being. She has used her profile and her image to represent women’s rights and equality for women. She’s fought for it on a very public platform and I think she was probably drawn to Belle because Beauty and the Beast is one of the first Disney animations where the woman saves the man rather than the prince saving the princess – this isn’t Sleeping Beauty.”
Evans added, “I think that’s great. She is a strong female character and she doesn’t settle for anything other than what she wants. She wants to read more books, she wants to see the world, she loves her home, but she knows there is a bigger world that she is entitled to take hold of. Emma is the perfect person to play that part because Emma’s a forward-thinking, strong human being.”
It seems Emma Watson has quite a bit of support for her portrayal of Belle from the actors that surround her. She has even shared why she feels this role is so important for her to play.
“I definitely felt a sense of responsibility. I remember modeling myself on her. For me, she symbolizes the best part of all of us, the part of ourselves that we all want to be, the part that’s compassionate. She is the first real feminist Disney princess,” Watson said.
In these new live-action Disney films, fairy tales are finally ditching sexism and embracing gender equality. Evans might be playing a chauvinistic villain, but he strongly supports the changes Watson has made to make Belle an even stronger woman.
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