Making history. The cast of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is “very proud” to feature the first-ever gay character in its remake of the 1991 classic, they told reporters at the Los Angeles premiere on Thursday, March 2.
“You know, I’m thrilled that this character, I think, veers in different directions than the original because he’s more complex,” said Josh Gad, who plays LeFou, the character in question. “In the original movie, the character is a bumbling fool and it worked because it was animated and it was wonderful. For me, it was important to add some dimension to him, to give him some pathos, to give him some heart, and there’s a moment at the end of the movie that’s very subtle, but that I’m very proud of, and I’ll let it speak for itself.”
As previously reported, film director Bill Condon explains in Attitude’s April issue that he wanted to create a more three-dimensional character for Gad’s LeFou.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” he said. “He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings.”
Added Condon: “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.”
Luke Evans, who plays Gaston, LeFou’s boss/object of affection in the film, also expressed his excitement over the historic inclusion. “The main body of the journey between Gaston and LeFou is about two people that need each other and have a wonderful friendship and it’s a wonderful story,” he said.
“We have these great songs and we bring them to life and there’s a little moment in the film when everybody finds their identity in this movie, you know,” Evans, 37, added. “Some of them are happy to find their identity and some are not, and Gaston is one of them that realizes he’s not going to win, and you see the Beast loses his identity by becoming a Beast, and finds his identity again and his humility and gratitude and he finds love. Everybody feels complete, including LeFou.”
At the London premiere of Beauty and the Beast late last month, Gad, 36, hinted at LeFou’s personal journey while speaking with reporters.
“There’s some surprising elements to this LeFou,” Gad told Hollywood News at the time. “Everything isn’t what it first appears to be. And he’s got a journey along the way that I think causes him to ask questions.”
But not everyone is applauding the film’s inclusivity. The Henagar Drive-In theater in DeKalb County, Alabama, announced on its Facebook page on Thursday, March 2, that it will not be showing the film because of the gay character.
“If we can not take our 11 year old grand daughter and 8 year old grandson to see a movie we have no business watching it,” the drive-in’s owner wrote in a now-deleted post, according to WHNT 19 News. “If I can’t sit through a movie with God or Jesus sitting by me then we have no business showing it. I know there will be some that do not agree with this decision. That’s fine. We are first and foremost Christians. We will not compromise on what the Bible teaches. We will continue to show family oriented films so you can feel free to come watch wholesome movies without worrying about sex, nudity, homosexuality and foul language.”
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