Beauty and the Beast star Josh Gad says original film was his Frozen
Getting cast as Gaston’s sidekick, Le Fou, in Disney’s new live-action Beauty and the Beast (out March 17) was a fairy tale come true for Frozen star Josh Gad. “Before there was Frozen, there was Beauty and the Beast,” says the actor told EW during the film’s U.K. shoot last year. “That was my Frozen. When the movie came out in ’91 I saw it probably three or four times in the theater. I remember the applause that erupted after some of the songs and seeing these songs fully realized now in grand spectacle like this, I couldn’t think of a more exciting opportunity. Having my foot so embedded in the musical theater world, I’ve wanted to do a cinematic musical forever, and so to be a part of an ensemble musical, which is essentially what this is, was just another bucket-list checkmark.”
As a fan of the animated version himself, Gad is well aware of the high expectations being raised by the new movie, which costars Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast, and Luke Evans as Gaston, among others. “I will tell you right now that the amount of interest in this film is unlike anything I’ve ever seen,” said the actor. “Look, there’s a lot of buzz surrounding Frozen 2, there’s [been] buzz surrounding other things I’ve been involved with, but there’s such curiosity, joy, excitement and buzz about [this]. That’s an enormous amount of pressure, but we know what the bar is, and we’re trying to match that bar, if not exceed it in some ways.”
For more on this week’s cover story, watch EW The Show, available now here, on the new PEOPLE/Entertainment Weekly Network (PEN). Go to PEOPLE.com/PEN, or download the free app on your Smart TV, mobile and web devices.
Beauty and the Beast (2017)