Even Dan Stevens doesn’t know Beast’s real name in “Beauty and the Beast,” and one day we’ll get to the bottom of this
Disney’s iconic fairy tale, Beauty and the Beast, is a story of love, redemption, and above all, a two-hour long public service announcement encouraging reading. The 1991 animated feature will live in the hearts of millennials for all of eternity, while the 2017 live action rendition brought a wave of wonderful nostalgia for many and introduced the story to a whole new generation.
It’s a fact — Beauty and the Beast is legendary.
But there has always been a shadow that’s hung over this beloved tale, something that’s ripped the Beauty and the Beast fandom apart for years: What *is* the Beast’s real name?
For years, Beast — in human form, at the very least — has been known as Prince Adam, but the name is never mentioned in either of the Disney adaptations, and was allegedly first included as part of a CD ROM game accompanying the animated adaptation and its straight-to-VHS sequels. Since then, the quandary over the Beast’s potential real name has been pretty big deal to Disney fans. As this dispute is close to our hearts, we decided to go straight to the source.
Dan Stevens, who portrayed the Beast in the 2017 live-action film, recently spoke with HelloGiggles about his new Charles Dickens film, The Man Who Invented Christmas — and we couldn’t help but ask his take on the alleged name of the Beast. However, even Stevens, Beast himself, has been left dumbfounded by this ongoing mystery.
"Well, somebody told me — because I thought it was Adam — somebody told me that it's not," he explained over the phone. "And so now I'm very confused. 'Cause I don't know [what his name is], to be honest."
That’s right, Stevens initially thought the Beast was actually named Adam, and now, after being unwittingly introduced to the debate, he’s just as curious as the rest of us.
While he couldn’t give us the inside scoop on Beast’s name, he did give us insight into what it was like playing the visual effects-heavy character. For the majority of the film, viewers are watching the Beast as a massive CGI figure but the entire character, down to the subtle facial expressions and movements, were all Stevens, who wore a special motion capture costume and heavily worked with the visual effects team to create the character.
A few months ago, a behind-the-scenes featurette from the film went viral: fans got to see Stevens bouncing around on stilts in a large grey motion capture suit as he guided Emma Watson (Belle) down the staircase for that iconic ballroom scene.
"Yeah, it was good that people got to see what I went through because I spent a few months sort of telling everyone that I'd been wearing this ridiculously great suit on stilts, " Stevens continued. "It's not until you see it that you realize the magic that went into actually creating that character as you see him in the movie. I think sometimes it's nice to keep the magic a secret, but actually sometimes seeing what goes into these things makes it even more magical. The whole process for me was incredibly magical.
Stevens also told us that working in such a visual effects-heavy role was incredibly eye-opening for him as an actor, because he was in awe of the technology on set. He revealed that the visual effects techniques used in the film had never really been used as extensively for a romance-centered film. He added that he’d love to take on another visual effects-heavy role at some point.
"I was so enamored with the potential of this kind of technology and the result that we achieved was just mind blowing and ultimately it became quite liberating," he said. "At first, it's terrifying because even the guy who's supposed to be the expert who created the kind of technology, they'd never really used it to the extent before and certainly not for a romantic theme. It was a huge challenge for everybody involved. And it was a great, great privilege standing at the real cutting edge of that kind of stuff. And yeah, the potential for the performance using that and the way that the technology has met the creative side of filmmaking is so exciting so, yeah, I hope to one day."
You can watch Dan in full visual effects glory in Beauty and the Beast (which is on Netflix right now), and can catch him in his new film The Man Who Invented Christmas in theaters November 22nd.