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Beauty and the Beast: Ewan McGregor on Lumière

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Disney; Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images

Ewan McGregor couldn’t have been happier to get the role of singing candelabra Lumière in Disney’s new live-action version of Beauty and the Beast (out March 17), which stars Emma Watson as Belle and Dan Steven as the Beast.

“I’ve got four girls,” says the Trainspotting and Moulin Rouge actor. “My eldest is in her twenties now, of course, but still I’ve got a little one, who’s 5, and when an opportunity like this comes along, to be in a film they will watch, then it’s nice. It’s nice to get the opportunity to sing again in a film. It’s been a long time since I got the chance to do a big number, like I had the opportunity [to do] in Moulin Rouge. And I get this great number, ‘Be Our Guest,’ which Lumière sings.”

The problem came when McGregor first tried to tackle the French accent of his character, who in Disney’s original 1991 animated version of the tale was voiced by Jerry Orbach.

“When they were shooting, they wanted to have all of our voices to act with, so Emma and Darren had characters to work with — that being our voices,” says the actor. “So, we went to London, we did some very quick accent-coaching [laughs], which in my case didn’t work out terribly well. My French didn’t really sound very French to begin with — it sounded a bit Spanish or something. And then some time later, I went over to New York, where Bill Condon [the film’s director] was doing all his post-production and I recorded the whole part again. I’d done a bit more work on the accent, so it sounded more French and I got rerecord the song. So, I got to do my whole performance again, which was a really nice opportunity. You don’t often get offered that. But I got a chance to have another crack at all of it!”

To read more on Beauty and the Beast, pick up the new issue of Entertainment Weekly on stands now, or buy it here – and subscribe for more exclusive interviews and photos, only in EW.

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Check out McGregor as Lumière below.

Disney; Paul Bruinooge/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images