The highly anticipated live action version of Beauty and the Beast includes a gay character, confirms the film’s director.
The Disney remake of its beloved 1991 animated film features Emma Watson and Dan Stevens as the lead characters who fall in love.
But it’s another more minor relationship in the movie that is now making waves, after director Bill Condon revealed that in this version LeFou (Josh Gad), the sidekick to the antagonist Gaston (Luke Evans), is in love with him.
“LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon told Attitude magazine.
“He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realising that he has these feelings. And Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its pay-off at the end, which I don’t want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie.”
The Oscar-winning Condon, who is openly gay, is best known for directing and writing films such as Gods and Monsters, Chicago, Kinsey, Dreamgirls and the two final installments of the Twilight series.
“It may have been a long time coming but this is a watershed moment for Disney,” commented Matt Cain, editor-in-chief of Attitude magazine.
Luke Evans as Gaston
“By representing same-sex attraction in this short but explicitly gay scene, the studio is sending out a message that this is normal and natural – and this is a message that will be heard in every country of the world, even countries where it’s still socially unacceptable or even illegal to be gay.”
In a new clip from Beauty and the Beast, a scene in which LeFou sings about the hunky Gaston is also given a gay twist. In the original, the song is meant to simply cheer Gaston up, but in the new adaption it also suggests LeFou’s romantic interest in Gaston.
“For there’s no man in town half as manly / Perfect, a pure paragon,” sings the besotted LeFou about his crush.
Beauty and the Beast is expected to be a huge hit. When the first trailer was released in November it set a new record with 127.6 million views in its first 24 hours.
South African fans will finally get to see the mysterious “exclusively gay moment” when the film opens in South African cinemas on 14 April.