Dan Stevens (‘Beauty and the Beast’) on playing Beast: ‘The tricky thing was getting in the bathroom stall’

Dan Stevens, famous for his roles in “Downton Abbey” and “Legion,” is unrecognizable as the Beast in Disney’s live-action “Beauty and the Beast.” A combination of practical and visual effects were used to transform him into the hulking creature, so what was the greatest challenge of playing such a character? “The only tricky thing was getting in the bathroom stall in the muscle suit,” Stevens admitted in a recent interview with People. Watch it above.

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“We went for a fusion of technologies really,” Stevens explains about the process of creating the Beast. That included “puppeteering of a big muscle suit on stilts. I was inside this 40-pound thing, and I would play the scenes with [Emma Watson] with nothing on my face, nothing impeding the performance — no mask, no latex fur.”

That was followed by a separate visual effects process for transforming his facial performance into the character we see in the finished film. “Facial capture we did separately,” he says. “Every couple of weeks I would go into a special booth that they had set up, and may face would be sprayed with about 10,000 UV dots, and I would sit in what I used to call the ‘Tron’ cage.” In the cage he gave his performance again while cameras captured only his facial expressions.

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So while bathroom breaks may have been an ordeal, the effort appears to have been worth it for the caged Beast. The film is projected to have a gigantic opening weekend at the box office. Have you seen “Beauty and the Beast” yet? Watch Stevens’s interview above, and join the discussion with your fellow movie fans in our notorious forums.

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