Bill Condon confirms Lefou in ‘BATB’ film will be a gay character
Beauty and the Beast director Bill Condon announced that Disney’s upcoming live-action Beauty and the Beast movie will feature the studio’s first-ever “exclusively gay moment.”
In an interview with Attitude magazine, Condon said the scene will involve the character LeFou, played by Josh Gad, as he comes to realize he has feelings for Gaston (Luke Evans).
“Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it. And that’s what has its payoff at the end, which I don’t want to give away,” Condon said. LeFou, a sidekick to Gaston, “is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston,” Condon said.
“He’s confused about what he wants. It’s somebody who’s just realizing that he has these feelings.” This character development represents a significant revision to the LeFou who appears in the 1991 animated film—a one-dimensional, bumbling, oafish character whose name translates in French to “the crazy one.”
“It’s sort of, like, a first gay moment. He’s fluid, you know what I mean?” Condon explained to ET. “LeFou in the original, why else does he hang out and be a human punching bag for Gaston? He must be a little confused about his feelings, you know? But I don’t want that to seem like a heavy-handed thing.”
“We set out, when we made this film, to dimensionalize all of these characters that were already iconic in the original,” Gad said. “There’s a moment at the end of the movie that I think is open to interpretation, that is very subtle, but I’m very proud of it.”
“I think it’s a really amazing moment in a Disney film. And I hope it speaks for itself,” he continued. “I think that all of the characters including Belle have just come so much further than even the original.”
Attitude’s editor-in-chief Matt Cain calls this a “watershed moment” for Disney.
“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,” he said.
Emma Watson and Dan Stevens star as the leads, Belle and the Beast.
Ewan McGregor will play Lumière with Hobbit and X-Men star Ian McKellen voicing Cogsworth.
BATB also stars Gugu Mbatha-Raw, Stanley Tucci, Audra McDonald and Emma Thompson.
Beauty and the Beast hits theaters March 17.