“There’s a lot of gay sex, and if you live anywhere near Alabama you should not go and see this film. What would Jesus think?” joked Ewan McGregor on “Late Show with Stephen Colbert” about the absurd controversy surrounding “Beauty and the Beast,” which some viewers have objected to because the character of LeFou (Josh Gad) is revealed to be gay. “He’s a gay character, and it’s 2017 for f*ck’s sake!”
McGregor plays Lumiere in the film using a combination of performance-capture and voice-over acting. Like the rest of the servants in the Beast’s castle, Lumiere has been transformed from a human being into part of the decor — in his case a candelabra. Lumiere gets one of the most famous songs in the film, “Be Our Guest,” but McGregor hadn’t actually seen the original 1991 animated film on which this new version is based. “I’ve never seen the original,” he admitted. “It was quite handy in a way because when you’re going to play a part that’s so well known, it’s quite good if you don’t know it so it can be yours.” In the original Lumiere was voiced by the late, great actor Jerry Orbach.
But Lumiere isn’t the only classic character McGregor is revisiting. He’s also promoting “T2 Trainspotting,” Danny Boyle‘s sequel to his cult hit 1996 film “Trainspotting.” As Stephen Colbert asked him, “You’re playing a talking candlestick, and you’re also playing a 40-year-old heroin addict in these two different films. Which one of these things is more believable? Because the idea that any of the guys from ‘Trainspotting’ are still alive is pretty crazy.” But his character Renton “cleaned up his act a bit over the years.” McGregor actually considered trying heroin in order to get into character, but when he met addicts in recovery, “I saw the extraordinary suffering they were going through and the pain in their eyes, and I thought it would be enormously disrespectful to them for me to go and try heroin.”
Both “Beauty and the Beast” and “T2 Trainspotting” open March 17, so you can see two wildly different sides of McGregor over the weekend. Which are you more excited to see. Watch his full interview above, and discuss this and more with your fellow movie fans in our famous forums.