It is obvious that Emma Watson did an amazing job in the recent blockbuster Beauty and the Beast in terms of acting, dancing and even singing (this was an unexpected surprise!) which made her win the first ever Gender -neutral acting award at the MTV Movie Awards earlier this month. Now the fans are anticipating an Oscar nomination for the talented actress. While she is all in news for her portrayal of Belle, it is her co-star actor Dan Stevens who went comparatively unnoticed.
Dan Stevens brought our favorite Beast character from our childhood fairy tale alive. But what made this live action film’s experience different was the fact that we actually started despising Steven’s selfish prince (and those haughty expressions and body language) within the first few seconds of the film and hence began our journey through Belle’s eyes as we step into her shoes to know the real prince within. This element was clearly missing in the 1991 animated film where the backstory was just a narration.
Despite the 40 pound muscle suit and aching calf muscles Stevens wonderfully managed to pull off those intricate expressions through that furry face. By now it is known that Stevens had to work in double shifts, first to capture the body movements and then to capture the facial expressions separately which often happened after a week of a particular scene’s shoot and he had to recollect and match the expressions he had given back then. He won our hearts with his powerful acting abilities and emotions majorly expressed through his eyes and a smile.
Then why did his hard work went unnoticed? According to me, it was mainly because the audience thought of him as yet another CGI character of a film and he definitely wore an awful wig in his human form! Also, the film emphasized more on Emma Watson’s Belle than the other characters. This happened to such an extent that even during the final dance scene the camera was more focused on Belle (whom we saw for more than 2 hours by then) while we wanted to see the beast now, in his human form and without that evil and ugly make-up from the first scene. However, to our utter dismay all we got to see were mostly over-the-shoulder shots of the prince, still focusing on Belle.
We have all heard of the extra work and efforts put by Stevens for this majestic character through his interviews. It was only after the recent behind the scenes videos that came out that we could gauge the magnitude of that extreme hard work. The video was evident enough to understand the fact that it is not just Emma Watson who deserves to be nominated and applauded for her role but also Dan Stevens for his acting prowess and voice as he was equally as good and at certain point better than Emma Watson.
Here is the video: