The rumored gay scene in Disney’s upcoming live-action version of Beauty and the Beast has caused quite a buzz: An Alabama drive-in has refused to show the film because of it, Russia may ban the film over it, Malaysia has asked Disney to remove the scene from their country’s version, (Disney refused.) and the film’s director and co-lyricist have both downplayed the “gay moment” amid the furor.
Nevertheless, Luke Evans, the actor who portrays Gaston, the vain hunter we all hate and lust after, has just revealed the backstory explaining the film’s brief gay moment, and it’s pretty amazing because it actually humanizes Gaston and his little gay crony, LeFou.
“Gaston is a war hero and an army captain,” Evans recently told ew.com, “and the only reason he’s got this celebrity status in Villeneuve (the French town where Beauty takes place) is because when he was about 16, he protected the town from a pack of Portuguese marauders in 1740. LeFou was with him during those conquests, protecting the town. They were at war together.”
“Only through LeFou are Gaston’s heroic moments from 20 and 30 years ago kept alive. They work symbiotically with each other and this is what I love about their relationship: they wouldn’t work without each other. Without LeFou, Gaston is just another buffoon in the village, but with LeFou, he’s revered and lifted to a higher level. We all have those friends. If you’re feeling down, I know the mate to call who’ll make me feel better.”
Evans goes on to explain why Gaston goes into such a murderous rage near the film’s end:
“The best villains are not villains from the beginning. They turn into villains…. He probably does suffer from PTSD, which he manages to keep under wraps because he has people like the villagers and LeFou and the girls who puff him up and make him feel sexy and wanted. But below that is a broken human being. He’s jaded, and the second he realizes that he’s not going to get what he wants, this military creature comes out of him.”
Wow, we actually like Gaston and LeFou a little more now. Mental healthcare wasn’t that great in France during that time (as evidenced by Belle’s father being dragged away in an asylum cart), so LeFou was left to handle his friend Gaston best he could. Sadly, LeFou ends up empowering Gaston to lead a murderous mob against the beast, but it’s kinda incredible that we still might see a gay-straight platonic friendship go south in the context of a Disney film.