Gaston has a pretty surprising backstory for the new “Beauty and the Beast”

You come to Beauty and the Beast for Belle and the Beast, naturally, but then you stay for Gaston. Because my, what a guy, that Gaston.

Though he’s the ~bad guy~ in Disney’s latest live-action movie, you can’t help but have a soft spot for highly-chauvinistic dude — especially considering that Luke Evans is so gosh darn likable. Now, tipping the scales a little bit more in his favor, Luke has actually given Gaston a fitting backstory, which makes so much more sense for the character. And maybe helps us like him a little bit more. (Or make YOU like him more, sorry not sorry, #TeamGaston all the way.)

Talking to Entertainment Weekly, Luke revealed that he — just like Emma Watson did with Belle — crafted up a new story for his character. When we meet Gaston in the animated movie, all we really know about him is that he’s a hunter, and he uses antlers in all of his decorating. And…that’s about it.

While the hunting and antlers are still very much present, there’s more of a reason as to why he is the way he is.

"I saw massive potential to create backstory and layer him up with intention and objectives," Luke explains. "The fact of the story is that Gaston is a war hero and an army captain, and the only reason he’s got this celebrity status in [Belle's little village of] Villeneuve is because when he was about 16, he protected the town from a pack of Portuguese marauders in 1740."

Well that is not something you normally hear about in a Disney movie. It’s clear that Luke did his homework on this subject, because he’s got Gaston’s position of power in the town all laid out.

"That sort of shit went on in France quite a lot," He continues. "Villages and towns were besieged, they lost their mayors, but [Gaston] defended [his town]. But if you’re 16 and doing that, you might be suffering from a little PTSD. So we played [the character] dark. There was a lot of anguish inside him, bubbling away. And he wasn’t happy that Belle had rejected him. Instead of being this petulant pouting child needing to be fluffed up by his fans in the tavern, there was a much darker side to him."

According to Luke, when this story first came about, he and Beauty and the Beast director, Bill Condon, sent it to Disney for approval and it took them a LONG time to respond back. Eventually, Disney agreed to this “darker” Gaston, and that’s how Luke played him.

"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."

That is certainly an interesting take, and the more we think about it, the more this Gaston makes sense. You can check him out (and all his antler decorations) this Friday.

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