In Brief

Beauty and the Beast to feature Disney's first openly gay character

Josh Gad's LeFou is torn between lust and admiration for Gaston, says director Bill Condon

Disney's live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast will feature the studio's first openly gay character, director Bill Condon revealed ahead of the film's Los Angeles premiere today.

The film sees LeFou, played by Frozen's Josh Gad, trying to come to terms with his feelings for Gaston (Luke Evans), which swing between lust and admiration.

It is a plot that breaks new ground when it comes to LGBT visibility on screen, Condon told Attitude magazine.

He said: "LeFou is somebody who on one day wants to be Gaston and on another day wants to kiss Gaston.

"He's confused about what he wants. It's somebody who's just realising that he has these feelings and Josh makes something really subtle and delicious out of it and that's what has its payoff at the end, which I don't want to give away. But it is a nice, exclusively gay moment in a Disney movie."

Attitude editor Matt Cain welcomed the development but said more must be done to create cinema that reflects real life: "It may have been a long time coming but this is a watershed moment for Disney," he said.

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A trailer for the film, which stars Emma Watson as Belle and Downton Abbey's Dan Stevens as the Beast, was viewed almost 130 million times in 24 hours when it was released last year.

Beauty and the Beast is out in the UK on 17 March.

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