Beauty and the Beast is one of the most magical animated films Disney has ever created — easily half of the movie's principal characters are anthropomorphized inanimate objects, for instance. According to the cast and creative team of the new live-action adaptation, the magic has only expanded. We spoke to a few of the show's stars and creators on the red carpet for its New York City premiere to find out just what made the filming experience so enchanting for them.
The following interviews have been condensed and edited for clarity.
Dan Stevens — Beast
There was one day I got to bring my kids and their cousins on set. The set was the big steps outside the back of the Beast's castle where you see the sort of final sequence. It was built in this huge hangar in Shepperton. And the guy who controlled the snow saw me bring the kids in, and he made eye contact with me across the way and he gave me a thumbs-up. So I said to the kids, "All right, close your eyes real tight. You've got to wish for snow, you've got to wish for snow." So a bunch of kids no older than six stood around scrunching their eyes, wishing for snow. And he pressed the button it started snowing in this hangar. And I was crying. It was the most awesome thing. And that's the magic of studio movies.
Audra McDonald — Madame Garderobe
In between setups when we were filming the end with the entire cast, we were all just sitting around in chairs shooting the breeze. Everybody hung out and chatted and no one ran off to their trailers. I think as a result we ended up kind of close — closer than you would think. We just really enjoyed each other. So that for me was the most magical part.
Josh Groban — Vocalist on the new single "Evermore"
The magic of seeing it when I was a kid really stuck with me. I play by ear, so when I was a kid I would watch films and then I would immediately go home and play the music on the piano. I remember first hearing Alan Menken's score when I was nine or ten years old, and then I sat at the piano and just immediately started plunking out the melodies. So then to be in the vocal booth and hearing that "da da da da da," as an adult professional performer who's gonna sing on this new track, that was one of those moments where you actually take a minute to high-five yourself and say, "You're doing OK." Every so often I have a moment like that and that's one of them.
David Hoberman — Producer
The most magical experience I had was when we were shooting the ball scene when Beauty and the Beast are dancing. When it was over and we finished shooting — it took two days to shoot that scene — I asked everybody to stay, and I made a speech about what we had just done, that we had maybe made the most beautiful, romantic dance in film history, in this room, with all these people contributing to it. That was by far the most magical moment for me.
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