Disney’s ‘live-action’ remake of the 1992 animated classic, Beauty and The Beast, seems to be getting shut out of all the award nominations.
This calls for a visual post to celebrate what the judges have failed to appreciate!
WHY I LIKE IT:
❤ It takes the romantic fairy tale and roots it in a way that feels more real
❤ Belle tucking up her skirts
this is something that would have been done when a girl was participating in less ladylike activities such as walking rough through the woods or climbing on and around things, etc. I rarely see this portrayed in film so I like that it was shown here. and having those cute bloomers show underneath was another way to illustrate how odd Belle supposedly was.
❤ The elaborate sets
❤ The intricate costumes
“An amazing amount of work went into the prince’s costume in the opening ball sequence, which you don’t really see. It’s got a whole custom embroidery of different kinds of grotesque animals stitched into the pattern. It’s embellished with 20,000 Swarovski crystals that took five days to stitch on.” ~Jacqueline Durran, costume designer
speaking of details that get overlooked, I’m going to slip in a pic of Dan’s London premiere suit here because I love the paisley swirl embroidery
❤ The nods to the beloved animated version
❤ I was never attached to the animated version (truthfully, I’m not sure I’ve even seen the whole movie), so I’m falling in love with the 2017 version like it’s my first time, because essentially it is!
Favorite Scene: when Belle & The Beast are sharing their outcast stories and Beast says ‘what do you say we run away’. Dan’s dry delivery of that line always makes me smile.
Favorite Line: when Beast shows Belle the library for the first time, she asks:
my favorite is the next line when Belle says, “Was that a joke? You’re telling jokes now?”
Favorite Outfit: The Prince’s light blue jacket in the closing dance scene
A Wish: That Dan get recognition for the hard work he put into the role
ladies and gentleman. i present to you what we've all been waiting for, dan stevens doing the facial and body capture for the beast. pic.twitter.com/YYYfuf1RE8
Now that I’ve become familiar with more of the characters that Dan Stevens has portrayed, I can finally use them to answer this ‘Fandom Asks’ questionnaire! Maybe I’ll make it a series and apply it to other crushes as well. We’ll start with Dan though, because he’s so much fun.
The first character I first fell in love with: David Haller, Legion
He’s so sweet and clueless and broken, and he has no idea how very powerful he truly is. Once he starts to discover his powers though, he levitates, and moves things without touching them, and can take you outside of your body into the Astral Plain where he’s set up a nice little love nest for the two of you… I mean, Syd. the love nest that he set up for Syd.
The character I never expected to love as much as I do now: David Collins, The Guest
He’s a psychopath, but so damn polite about it! It’s not his fault though, the big bad government used him for an experiment and made him a super soldier without empathy, so that makes it okay to love him. As long as he thinks it’s his ‘mission’ to make you happy; don’t disrupt the mission.
The character everyone else loves that I don’t: The Beast, Beauty and The Beast
I like him well enough, but c’mon! They hid that beautiful face under CGI fur for almost the whole movie! His grumpiness has a certain charm to it, I’ll admit. I like him much better after the transformation though.
The character I love that everyone else hates: Noah Dorfman, Criminal Activities
I don’t know that others hate him, necessarily, it’s just that he’s not exactly a heartthrob. He tries too hard to fit in, willingly letting his ‘friends’ take advantage of him, and he’s kind of bouncy like a puppy. He has an enjoyable dry wit that comes out in full force when he’s stressed though, and his curly hair is adorable!
The character I used to love but don’t any longer: Will Porter, Killswitch
I really liked him in the build up to the release of the movie but then once I saw the movie, he felt flat, very one dimensional. And not actually on screen all that much. The movie, while inventive, was full of dead ends.
The character I would totally smooch: Joey Van Helsing, Vamps
The floppy hair and the boyish smile, and the fact that he doesn’t run away screaming when he finds out that you’re a vampire. Not only that, but he still wants to make out with you, even though his dad is a vampire hunter. He’s a keeper!
The character I’d want to be like: David Cameron, Hilde
Confident, Charismatic, Cocky
The character I’d slap: James Harvey, The Ticket
I go from wanting to cuddle him in his disheveled clothes, to wanting to slap him in his designer suits. Maybe we should eliminate the clothing factor altogether and see what I feel then?
A pairing that I love: All of them and their Beautiful Blue Eyes
ETA: unfortunately this video was removed. so I’ll change the answer to this question to ‘There’s An Infestation in My Mind’s Imagination- David Haller, Legion’. the subject matter may be tamer but the song and editing is on point!
Another Beauty and The Beast promo vid, where we hear a little bit of Dan’s natural singing voice
and a Carte Noire Coffee book reading, cued to where Dan softly sings.
More highlights of Dan’s clothing style. the shirt/jeans/hat/boots he wore during his participation in James Corden’s Crosswalk The Musical (if you’ve not watched this before in it’s entirety DEW IT. it’s really funny!)
more of The Boots:
Today show interview promoting Night at The Museum: secret of the tomb where Dan hams it up by imitating voices and telling a funny story about filming. he also reveals that he did stand up comedy while at university (no surprise there).
While on the set of the upcoming film The Apostle, Dan wished a fan ‘Happy Birthday’ in her native language. why is that crazy vibe so enticing?
When I previously shared my history of celebrity crushes on this blog, I left off with Jamie Dornan, knowing that there would eventually be someone new to add to the list in the future. I tend to collect cinematic crushes. I’ll see someone in a movie that really sparks my fancy, which then leads to a manic bout of researching his past roles and getting a feel for his off screen personality through interviews and career related appearances. Sometimes I’ll join fandoms related to him or his characters in order to share my newfound interest with other fans, and other times I’ll just fangirl on my own (i.e. flood my Twitter and friend groups with pictures and videos of said new crush) Some of these crushes burn out after six months or so, while others stick around for years before the shine starts to fade and I get enraptured by someone new. I’ve recently become enraptured by someone new, and his name is Dan Stevens.
Most people know Dan from his time as Matthew Crawley on ‘Downton Abbey’. I am one of the scant few who have never watched that show. not one episode.
I did recently watch a trailer for the series, so I at least know the premise now. I don’t live under a rock, I have heard of it, but I’m always reluctant to jump into anything that’s popular just for popularity’s sake. I’d much rather stumble across it on my own before it’s gained a heavy following, or years later when the hype has died down. So I found Dan through the FX show ‘Legion’ instead.
I really enjoy the Marvel comic book inspired movies. X-Men, Captain America, The Avengers, and to a lesser extent the DC side of things like Superman and Batman. When I started watching Legion, I didn’t realize it was a tie in to the X-men franchise. I saw ads for it during the Superbowl and it intrigued me, so I set the DVR to record the first episode. That first episode was… odd. I wasn’t sure I wanted to continue but I gave it a chance, and from the second episode onward, I was hooked. Eventually I realized it was indeed a tie in to the X-men and that ‘David’ wasn’t really crazy but a mutant instead.
I wasn’t familiar with the Legion comics though, so I was pretty much in the dark concerning his story. I just wanted to find out who that creepy dude was who kept popping up in the corner of all his memories, and what the bobble-head was trying to distract us from. It was confusing and trippy and sweet and fun and I just couldn’t get enough of it! I didn’t watch/read any of the press concerning the show, and I’m glad of that. Not knowing beforehand what David was capable of or who his father just so happened to be, made it more exciting for me.
As the 8 episode season of ‘Legion’ was winding down, I Googled Dan Stevens to learn more about who he was. Surprise number one: he’s British! His American accent was superb, I never would have guessed that it wasn’t natural. I have a thing for accents, I find the differences in regional dialects really interesting, so I was impressed with Dan’s ability in this area. Surprise number two: he was portraying ‘The Beast’ in the new live-action remake of Disney’s ‘Beauty and The Beast’ with Emma Watson.
My daughter expressed a veiled interest in seeing it (she’s 12 going on 16, so she didn’t want to seem too interested) after finding out Dan was in it, I agreed to take her. I had seen the animated version but I wasn’t sentimentally attached to it; I was 16 years old when it was released and hadn’t actually seen it until years later. I really like the new version though, I was smiling throughout the whole thing. I happen to love Disney and drag my kids to Disney World every few years, when I’m sure they’d rather go to amusement parks filled with thrill rides instead. I had already started my ‘research’ into Dan by this time and so was trying to spot his personal facial expressions in the beast. I found a few but mostly because I was specifically looking for them. Afterwards I came home and gobbled up all the promo interviews he did for Beauty and The Beast, learning about the physical hardships he had to go through in order to portray this motion capture/CGI version. I was doubly impressed.
Now I was in full ‘research’ mode, hunting down photoshoot pictures, past interviews, and anything that gave me insight into who Dan was. I found his personality infectious
his eyes mesmerizing
his facial expressions addicting
and his talent for voices (and fashion) thoroughly enjoyable.
I had learned that he attended school with the likes of Tom Hiddleston and Eddie Redmayne. His natural accent sounded posh to the ear but he didn’t seem so in the videos that I was seeing. His presence felt familiar, not intimidating. I know he’s smart, with a literary degree, an online writing publication, and had even been a Man Booker Prize judge, but he seems so unassuming.
Yesterday I decided to watch his 2014 movie ‘The Guest’. It sounded like something I would enjoy, a creepy throwback to a 1980s-style thriller. So I settled down to watch, with apprehensive expectations. I expected cheesy, I expected over the top sound effects, I expected mediocre performances. I didn’t expect to enjoy it as much as I did, or to be so impressed with Dan’s performance.
The sound effects were over the top, but enticingly so. The humor was subtle, in that delicious way that is sometimes hard to catch. I laughed out loud during so many scenes; maybe I just have a twisted sense of humor. I didn’t find ‘David Collins’ all that creepy. A bit off his rocker, certainly, but I wouldn’t back out of a room he was in.
I particularly liked the scene where David blew up the diner. The choice of background music, his facial expression before he does the deed, and then the way he quickly limps out the door. That whole scene cracked me up! (warning: scene contains gun violence)
I also really liked the pumpkin carving scene. The way David flicks that knife around and the brother’s reaction to it (the brother has great reactions to David’s unstable demeanor) and the advice he gives him about how to go about handling bullies.
The scene where David buys a gun is a high point as well (one of those unexpected moments of violence that made me laugh out loud in shock), and the drink orders before the bar fight scene, can’t forget those!
The shoot out scenes were particularly enjoyable too, a definite throwback to the 80’s. The excessive amount of bullets being bounced around in slow motion, and the way David dives through the window and then army crawls through the house.
Aside from all the fun though, I thought Dan’s acting was very impressive in this, as was his accent. The Southern American accent always seems to trip people up. It either sounds too drawn out, like you’re going to fall off your seat waiting for them to finish a sentence, or it’s a caricature of a Foghorn Leghorn cartoon. Dan’s, on the other hand, was entirely believable and very easy on the ears. I quite liked hearing him talk in that accent. I had to repeatedly remind myself that it wasn’t his real one! Truthfully, if it wasn’t for his striking blue eyes, I wouldn’t have known it was the same guy who portrays David Haller on ‘Legion’.
This crush on Dan Stevens is relatively new for me. I still need to catch up on his past work, read more interviews, see more photoshoots, etc. but I feel very confident placing Dan on my Cinematic Crush list. Since Legion isn’t returning until next year…
I will look forward to his other future projects, and furthering my growing admiration for this talented man.