One of the challenges of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, aside from adapting a beloved 90s animated classic, was bringing the Beast to life in realistic yet not off-putting fashion. Judging by the film’s $1.2 billion box office, this was a resounding success. But it wasn’t without its challenges, and a new behind-the-scenes video reveals just how Dan Stevens performed his role as The Beast on set, and how that translated into the CG version of the character we saw on screen.
As it turns out, Stevens actually had to perform his scenes twice. On set he wore a motion-capture suit and stilts, to mimic the large frame of The Beast, but in order to fully capture Stevens’ facial expressions the Downton Abbey actor had to go back at night and record his lines once more against a facial capture machine. This is the same technology used to bring Brad Pitt to vivid life in The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, as it is able to chronicle every tiny motion of the face and record that for use in the animation of the character.
Director Bill Condon explains in the video below that this was a herculean challenge, and it really does make Stevens’ performance all the more impressive knowing that he not only had to sing and do everything else we see on screen, but go back and record his lines in finite detail once again.
Check out the Beauty and the Beast behind-the-scenes video below, via USA Today. The film arrives on Blu-ray, DVD, and Digital HD on June 6th.