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No One Woos Like Gaston in This New ‘Beauty and the Beast’ Photo

Beauty and the Beast
Disney

I’d be hard-pressed to name a Disney villain I like as much as Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston. In addition to being a Sondheim-esque twist on the traditional idea of a fairy tale prince  —  vain, violent, and eager to confuse chivalry with misogyny  —  the character of Gaston has also become something of a method actor’s dream for Disney theme park employees. Remember the time that Gaston challenged a kid to a push-up contest? Or how about the time that Gaston got shouted down by a young girl? It turns out that no one goes viral like Gaston, either.

And while I may have some CGI-related misgivings about Disney’s upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast remake, I’m pretty thrilled to see what Luke Evans can do with the character of Gaston. Earlier this weekend, Empire (via /Film) gave us our first good look at Evans in action, and his immaculately coiffed Gaston is a perfect match for the animated movie. The photo found its way online, but be sure to click through to Empire for a few words on the character from Evans, who describes Gaston as the darkest possible Disney villain.

As someone who has played the villain in a Fast and the Furious movie, Evans is certainly no stranger to bringing an element of cartoon violence to a live-action film, but it might be one of his more mature projects —  Ben Wheatley’s 2015 dystopian thriller High-Rise  —  that best informs the character. There Evans plays a brooding and jealous alpha-male who reacts poorly to a new competitor in his natural environment. If Evans can channel even a fraction of that character in Gaston, we might have a live-action Disney villain for the ages.

In case you’re one of the handful of people reading this site who did not grow up with Disney films, here is the full plot synopsis for Beauty and the Beast:

Beauty and the Beast is the fantastic journey of Belle, a bright, beautiful and independent young woman who is taken prisoner by a beast in his castle. Despite her fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and learns to look beyond the Beast’s hideous exterior and realize the kind heart and soul of the true Prince within.

Beauty and the Beast also stars Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Kevin Kline, Ewan McGregor, Emma Thompson, and Ian McKellen and hits theaters on March 17, 2017.

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