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Luke Evans: ‘I fought to land Beauty and the Beast role at audition’

Luke Evans competed against “huge names” for a role in Beauty and the Beast but was jubilant after being chosen for the part of Gaston.
The Welsh actor has landed the role of a lifetime as villain Gaston in the upcoming real-life adaption of the classic Disney film, with Emma Watson playing Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast. Despite having begun his career on the stage and having a strong signing voice, Luke felt under pressure to deliver when first trying out for director Bill Condon.
“They wanted to hear everybody. I can tell you huge names that were in the room before me and after me. I was like, ‘F**k’,” he recalled to Interview magazine. “Everybody was being seen for these roles, and for Gaston especially… Sometimes when you audition it’s quite a nerve wracking thing, you’re quite exposed and maybe have only had the script for a few days before.”
However, his anxiety ceased as he saw Bill smile as he sang the character’s song, with lines including: ‘For there’s no man in town half as manly/ Perfect, a pure paragon’. Luke feels fortunate to have been offered the part after competing against other actors, as being offered a job in a plate isn’t as satisfying for the star.
“I think the work you’ve done before that is why you get it. But when you audition for something you do feel a little bit more legit,” he explained. “It’s a validation that you are the right person for the job because they’ve chosen and they’ve seen you do something connected to that role.”
Gaston is a far cry from other characters he’s played recently, including his current stint as the husband of a woman who goes missing in The Girl on the Train. He also played troubled filmmaker Richard Wilder in this year’s (16) High-Rise, for which he drew upon some personal emotions to perfect the performance.
“It was a real rollercoaster of a film for me. I was going through some personal drama at the time, so I think I just channelled all of that stress and tension and passion into Richard Wilder, this character, and it just hit the mark” he added.

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