Dan Stevens ate four roast dinners a day so he didn’t “waste away” during the filming of Beauty And The Beast.
The former Downton Abbey actor stars as The Beast, a young prince who is transformed into the ugly creature by a witch’s curse, in the live-action remake of the 1991 Disney animated musical.
Much of The Beast is computer-generated but Dan still acted the part on set, having to wear steel-capped stilts and a heavy muscle vest to change his height and shape and a special cooling vest underneath to regulate his temperate because he would regularly overheat in the costume.
The 34-year-old admits he would sweat so much during filming that he had to eat the traditional British dinner regularly to make sure he kept his weight on.
“It was a pretty athletic job for me,” Dan told Britain’s Radio Times magazine. “I was physically conditioning my legs to be on stilts for 12 hours a day and also conditioning the rest of me so that I didn’t waste away – I was losing so much fluid from sweating.
“I would overheat, especially when we were dancing, so between takes there was a little tube that could be plugged in to ice-cold water to cool me down… I was honestly eating four roast dinners every day, just to keep any form of physicality.”
The Beast is mean and grumpy from being kept in his cursed castle and having his luxurious life taken away from him, and Dan took inspiration from his young son Aubrey, who was born in 2012, and his temper tantrums when playing the role.
“There’s a stroppy, spoilt quality to the Beast – not that my son is spoilt. I don’t think he is,” he explained. “Everyone goes through the terrible twos… But I wondered, what if someone was indulged and pandered to at that age and it carried on their whole life?”
Dan and his wife, jazz singer and teacher Susie, are also parents to daughter Willow, who born in 2009.