The live-action Beauty and the Beast doesn't arrive in theaters until March 17, but fans are already buzzing about how the movie features Disney's first gay character, LeFou, played by Josh Gad.
"I haven't seen anything (about that), tell me more," Gad joked on the carpet for the world premiere of Beauty and the Beast Thursday.
But yes, he's "really proud" to play LeFou, a character who has a "wonderful gay moment" in the film, as director Bill Condon called it at the premiere.
"What was most important to me was taking a character that is wonderful and so iconic, but is defined by cartoon conceits in the (original) movie... and expanding on that, giving him dimension, making him human," said Gad.
In the 1991 animated Beauty and the Beast, LeFou gets hit in the head with a horn, a pig, snow and Gaston's fist, and loses plenty of teeth as a result. Not so in the live-action film. "I'm done with the (snow) phase of my Disney life ... And I don’t want to have my teeth knocked out every five seconds," joked the actor, who voiced Frozen's Olaf. "I need these for future work."
Gad's live-action LeFou is much less cartoonish, serving as not just comic relief but as a fully-fleshed out character who gives guidance to Gaston and explores his own feelings and sexuality. Gad made it clear, however, that "there was nothing in the script that said ‘LeFou is gay.’"
Condon added, "I think (LeFou's sexuality) has been a little overstated."
"To me, I have to say my heart sinks a little (that we're talking about this moment)," said Condon. "I like the idea of it coming as this surprise, and I hope people don’t know where it’s coming."
Gad agreed: "I hope that it’s a surprise to audiences to some extent, although I don’t think it is anymore." Regardless, Gad said, "I'm honored to have that moment as part of my character’s arc."