Idris Elba Auditioned for Beauty and the Beast’s Gaston

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This year’s Beauty and the Beast still holds the throne as the highest-grossing movie released in 2017, and no wonder. It’s a Disney movie, it’s modeled after one of the best-loved animated movies of all time, it has unforgettable songs, and it has a fabulously talented ensemble cast. It also almost had Idris Elba.

While chatting with People’s Jess Cagle, Elba got to talking about his career as a musical theater star in school. He played Chicago gangster Big Jule in his production of Guys and Dolls, and enjoyed it so much he was even interested in the movie remake that’s been floating around Hollywood for some time. “I honestly love musicals,” he said. So much that, apparently, he sent in an audition for Beauty and the Beast.

“Do you know, I auditioned for Beauty and the Beast?” he asked Cagle. “For the movie, yeah! I called, I said, ‘I want in!’ They said, ‘Uh, you know, uh, well, okay.’ So, somewhere they have a tape of me singing.”

Cagle, like any sane person, immediately wanted to know where the tape was. “You could share your audition with the world right now,” he said.

But Elba firmly declined to show it. “Here’s the thing: no.” He insisted that there are no hard feelings between him and Luke Evans, who did get the part, and who was one of the shining moments of the movie. Maybe Disney didn’t give Elba the part because his Gaston would be too impossible to resist. But can you just imagine? Somewhere out there is a perfect alternate universe where the U.S. president never tweets and Idris Elba played Gaston in Beauty and the Beast.

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