Beauty and the Beast Interview with Audra McDonald (“Garderobe”) & Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Plumette”)
Disney’s Beauty and the Beast opens in theaters world wide this Friday, March 15th! The closer it gets the more excited I get for all of you to see it. First I have the inside Q & A with Audra McDonald (“Garderobe”) and Gugu Mbatha-Raw (“Plumette”).
In Beauty and the Beast the animated characters are just as important as the real life characters for they once were People too. An enchanted spell turned them into the objects that they are in the movie. In order to deliver this Q & A properly I’ll need to introduce you to the Person along with it’s character object you will see in the movie.
This is Gugu Mbatha-Raw her character is Plumette.
Gu Gu character is the beautiful “Plumette” the Feather duster.
This is Audra McDonald, she plays the part of “Garderobe”.
She sings a few musical numbers that your going to love.
In this scene Belle is in her room and talks to “Gardrobe”. She is large in size with a tall head and piece for a hat.
Now that I’ve shared important details let’s get to the interview Q & A.
GuGu shares why she wanted to be a part of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
“I was obsessed with the original Disney film. It came out when I was eight years old, I had the cassette tape, made my mom play in the car on the way to ballet and tap and modern, everyday. I knew all the words to all the songs and you know it is still my favorite Disney movie so I had a very personal connection to it. And when my agent called and said they wanted me to play a part in this I squealed down the phone, so loudly. I think it was probably the biggest reaction to getting a job that I’ve every had ’cause I think that little eight year old inside of me was just so excited and it sort of connects you back to growing up with Disney movies. And then this cast, you know, is just phenomenal.”
Audra also shares why she wanted to be a part of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
When I got the call I’d known that the movie was being made and I was excited about it and my agent called and he said, ‘so, Beauty and the Beast,’ he’s like, ‘yeah, they’re turning into this, isn’t that great?’ He’s like, ‘yeah, so they want you to be in it.’ I was like, ‘excuse me? That doesn’t make sense. I was like “what? Why? I mean–“. But, if Disney calls, like I said, I would sell churros at the park for them, you know what I mean? I hear that Oreos making churros, that it’s a churro flavored Oreo, I just heard. Anyway, that’s something else. But any way so of course, it’s just Disney, you want to be a part of it, it’s just an automatic yes.
It doesn’t get anymore perfect than that. I simply loved her answer. Seriously if you ever got a call from Disney to do a part in a movie what would your reaction be? I would simply be over the moon excited I’d even be an extra in the background just to have my name go by the credits and tell all my friends I was in the movie.
Audra shares details into what kind of child she was and how getting into the theater was really one of the best things that happened to her.
I was a really hyperactive child having, struggling, actually and my parents were struggling with trying to figure out how to help me. I was an over dramatic child and having a hard time in school and whatnot. They went to the local dinner theater one night and saw a little junior troop that performed before the main musical and it was kid, a group of kids.
And I loved to sing at home and all that stuff and I had all this extra energy and drama inside of me. They said, ‘maybe this is gonna help her.’ And so, I auditioned for that when I was nine years old and that set me on my path and I really have my parents to thank for looking for something that would be right for me to express who I was and find a way to channel that energy. That’s what started me on my path.
Interracial coupling and how Disney welcomes them into the movie. Audra’s answer was simply my thoughts. It was perfect.
Hopefully we’ll get to a day where no one has to think about it. You know, that’s what we’re aiming for. I’m pleased that Disney recognizes that you know, you’ve got to represent the entire world out there, and that’s what they’re doing.
GuGu answer was very much the same
I guess we’re all just bringing ourselves and you know, thrilled that Bill Condon, the director, had the vision to make it such a diverse cast. It wasn’t really something we discussed, which is kind of cool in this day and age, it just sort of is. And yeah, I’m sort of thrilled about it.
One of the other reasons why Audra was so excited to be in Beauty and the Beast is because Emma Watson is “Belle”. With Emma Watson being such a huge influence and role model for her teenage daughter she was really excited about that.
Preparing for role of animated parts versus the regular parts
Gugu tells us it was so liberating. She’s never been offered a role like this before and the idea of playing a feather duster she thought it as whimsical and fun. She also knew it would be a lot of vocal work in the recording studio and along with singing, but finding the voice of the character, working on the French accent with the dialect coach and also just really going back to that childhood thing of like, ‘let’s pretend.’
She says,”You’re not limited by your face and your body.”
Audra says, “You know, you have so much more freedom I think. And, as I say, it’s just play, really, when you get to you know, this huge team who are creating these CGI characters. I just found it incredibly liberating.
Next we asked them to talk about their costumes. Here’s what GuGu had to say about her costume as “Plumette” the feather duster.
On her first costume fitting they had the feather duster on a stand and was kind of taken back because “Plumette” is quite different to the feather duster. Fifi was more sort of mopped like, in the original. She was pleasantly surprised to see that they made her into this sort of flying dove like peacock, a very dainty creation. In the costume fitting they played around with the bird theme, and she had a big tail feather on one of the costumes, a huge bustle, and they added feathers in her hair. They played around with sort of Marilyn Monroe style wig which was kind of fun for her to blonde, which is just so outrageous.
Audra on being Garderobe
Audra shared a lot of details about her costume and how difficult, heavy and big that the wig was. She thought it was great that it was blonde wig. Being the wardrobe and having to wear a large dress that she couldn’t walk in any regular door to get to set, she actually had to walk sideways.
Disney puts a lot of detail into all of the costumes so this is certainly something you’ll want to pay attention to. You probably won’t even catch it all on the first viewing so be sure to see it again and again. I know that won’t be a problem for me and my family. It’s so amazing I’ll return to see it again and again.
No interview is complete without a photo with the cast.
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST opens in theaters
Friday, March 17th!
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