Dan Stevens as The Beast and Emma Watson as Belle
Credit: Disney

The highly complicated special effects process used to transform actor Dan Stevens into the titular, hairy monster-hero of Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast (out March 17) could easily confuse an adult. It certainly confused this adult when EW toured the movie’s U.K. set last year. So, how did the Downton Abbey star explain what was going on to his young daughter when she visited her father at Shepperton Studios and saw him in his motion capture suit?

You won’t believe the cuteness of the answer!

“My kids have come on set when I’m the prince and it’s all sort of real-ish,” Stevens told EW, during the shoot. “They’ve also come on days when I’m doing the CGI, and I’m in this sort of giant muscle suit with grey lycra on. My daughter just said I looked like a hippo, a hippo on stilts. Which is kind of a beast, I guess. They’re pretty dangerous. I told my daughter that CGI stood for Clever Gnome Imagery, and the clever gnomes take the pictures away, and then turn that hippo into the Beast. And she was like, ‘Oh yeah, that makes sense.'”

Beauty and the Beast is directed by Bill Condon, and costars Emma Watson, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Luke Evans, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellen, and Emma Thompson.

Dan Stevens as The Beast and Emma Watson as Belle
Credit: Disney

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Beauty and the Beast (2017)
  • Movie
  • 129 minutes