Among many other things, Disney’s 1991 animated movie, Beauty and The Beast, is a musical classic, so when the live action adaption was announced we were pleased to hear that Ewan McGregor was among the cast of stars in charge of bringing the timeless story to life.
As you may know, one of McGregor’s most notable roles was as Christian in the 2001 musical and Best Picture nominee Moulin Rouge, where he did a fantastic job. So given his experience it was surprising to hear that he had to re-record his take as Lumiere on the ‘Be Our Guest’ song after the first time; but as he said yesterday in the 2017 winter Critics Association press tour for Fargo Season 3, this was mainly because of the circumstances of his first recording.
‘I hadn’t been in a recording studio for a long time, and I was in a recording studio in London when we recorded the song for the first time. There was an enormous amount of pressure, I thought,’ McGregor explained. ‘I had only just arrived, I was jet lagged from LA. I got off a plane one day and the next day I was in a recording studio. It’s very nerve-wracking recording, because you’re in a quiet room and through the glass [and] there’s people who are looking at you, and they speak to each other and you can’t hear them. In this instance there were 50 people in there, and I was standing jet lagged alone trying to sing in a French accent this big number. Every time I stopped they would go, ‘OK, hang on,’ [and talk amongst themselves]. I became terribly scared they were going, “What the f–k are we going to do with him?”’
‘We did it, it was fine, and then I asked Bill, I said, “Look, when we’re working on the dialogue next time, can I have another shot at it?”’ He continued. ‘So we went just privately, me and him and a few people in New York, and we recorded it a second time.’
The actor also explained how difficult it was for him to get the French accent of his character right, despite the fact that he has been married to a French woman for 22 years now. But in the end he felt in good hands with director Bill Condon, and together they pulled through.
Directed by Bill Condon and starring Emma Watson, Dan Stevens, Luke Evans, Kevin Kline, Josh Gad, Ewan McGregor, Stanley Tucci, Ian McKellen, Audra McDonald, Gugu Mbatha-Raw and Emma Thompson, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast is set to hit theaters on March 17.