October 3, 2023
Discover who played the Beast in Beauty and the Beast and how Dan Stevens' performance brought the iconic character to life. Learn about Stevens' preparation, experience, and review of his portrayal, and how it compares to other actors who played the role.

I. Introduction

Since its release in 2017, the live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast has captivated audiences worldwide, breaking box office records and receiving critical acclaim. One of the most iconic characters in the movie is, without a doubt, the Beast – the cursed prince who must learn to love and be loved in return. However, despite the success of the film, there seems to be some confusion among fans over who played the Beast. In this article, we’ll explore the actor behind the role and provide all the information you need to know about his performance.

II. Biographical Account of Dan Stevens

The actor who plays the Beast in Beauty and the Beast is Dan Stevens, a British performer known for his work in theater, television, and film. Born in Croydon, London, in 1982, Stevens attended Cambridge University, where he studied English literature and became interested in acting. After graduation, he began his career in theater, playing various roles in productions like Macbeth and The Heiress.

Stevens rose to fame in the United Kingdom for his role in the TV series Downton Abbey, in which he played the handsome and charming character Matthew Crawley for three seasons. He also appeared in several British movies, such as The Guest and Night at the Museum: Secret of the Tomb, before landing his biggest role yet in Beauty and the Beast.

III. Casting Process for Beauty and the Beast

The casting process for the role of the Beast was long and rigorous, as the filmmakers were looking for an actor who could embody the physical and emotional transformation of the character. In an interview, director Bill Condon revealed that he was impressed by Dan Stevens’ audition from the beginning:

“We were blown away by Dan. He’s obviously incredibly handsome, but there’s something very tortured about him, and you could see that on camera.”

According to Condon, Stevens was chosen not only for his acting skills but also for his dedication to the role. Stevens underwent a physical transformation, gaining weight and growing a beard, and had to wear a motion-capture suit and prosthetics to become the Beast. He also had to train his voice to match the snarls and growls required for the role.

IV. Preparation and Experience of Dan Stevens

In addition to physical preparation, Dan Stevens also had to dive deep into the character’s psyche to portray the Beast’s emotional journey. According to him, he read the original French fairy tale from which the story is based, as well as Angela Carter’s feminist retelling of the story, The Courtship of Mr. Lyon. As Stevens stated in an interview:

“It was interesting to read the different versions and try to find my own way through it. It’s a complex character, and there are many layers to him.”

Stevens also worked closely with Bill Condon and the rest of the cast to create a cohesive and immersive world for the film. Emma Watson, who played Belle, highlighted Stevens’ talent and dedication to the role, saying that:

“Dan’s performance was incredible. He really became the Beast physically and vocally, and his emotional journey was so moving to watch.”

V. Comparative Analysis of Beast Performances

Beauty and the Beast has been adapted numerous times in various media, from animation to stage productions. Therefore, Dan Stevens’ interpretation of the Beast character is not the first nor the last. However, comparing his performance to other actors who have played the role can provide valuable insights into his work.

Two notable examples of other actors portraying the Beast are Robby Benson in the original animated movie and Vincent Cassel in the French live-action adaptation La Belle et la BĂȘte. Both actors tried to embody the Beast’s physical and emotional struggle, but their interpretations were different from Stevens’. While Benson’s portrayal was more reserved and melancholic, Cassel’s Beast was more aggressive and bestial.

On the other hand, Dan Stevens’ Beast was a balance between these two, combining moments of vulnerability and fierceness. As Bill Condon stated in an interview:

“Dan found a way to convey the emotions and the physicality of the character without sacrificing one for the other.”

VI. Review of Dan Stevens’ Performance

Now, the most critical part of our analysis- Dan Stevens’ performance as Beast. It’s essential to understand how the audience and the critics perceived his portrayal and how it impacted the film’s overall success. In general, the response to Stevens’ performance was positive, with many reviewers praising his commitment and nuance.

One critic in Variety wrote, “[Stevens] beautifully conveys the Beast’s emotional agony through the layers of prosthetic makeup and CGI effects, as well as through the distinctive physicality he brings to the role.” Similarly, Rotten Tomatoes praised his unique interpretation of the character: “Stevens’ Beast has a dangerous but ultimately benevolent quality that makes him one of the most memorable versions of the character.”

During the interviews, Dan Stevens expressed his pride in playing the iconic role and how much hard he had to work to deliver a memorable performance. He also revealed some of the difficulties he faced while filming, such as the physical discomfort caused by the motion-capture suit. Nevertheless, Stevens was pleased with the final result and the opportunity to be part of such a beloved movie.

VII. Conclusion

In conclusion, Dan Stevens’ portrayal of the Beast in Beauty and the Beast marks a significant achievement in his career. The actor’s dedication and talent allowed him to embody the complex character’s physical and emotional transformation, creating a memorable and unique version of the iconic role. For fans of the movie, understanding the actor behind the character adds another layer of appreciation for the film’s success.

If you’re interested in learning more about Dan Stevens or Beauty and the Beast, there are several resources available, from interviews to behind-the-scenes footage. As one of the most iconic and successful live-action adaptations of a classic Disney animation, Beauty and the Beast is a must-watch for any movie lover.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *