“Downtown Abbey” fans know him best as Matthew Crawley, but Dan Stevens might become best known for playing a different character. The English actor was cast as The Beast/Prince in the live-action adaptation of “Beauty and the Beast,” The Hollywood Reporter wrote Wednesday. He joins “Harry Potter” star Emma Watson, who landed the role of Disney princess Belle in the movie in January, and Luke Evans, who was cast in the film on Wednesday.
Stevens had a silly reaction to the news. When it was revealed that he got the part, the actor took to Twitter to post a photo that reads “Beast Mode.” Usually, “beast mode” refers to being energetic. In Stevens’ case, however, it refers to his new role in the Bill Condon directed film. The movie reportedly has all British actors in its lead roles, THR wrote.
The news could be upsetting for some Ryan Gosling fans who hoped “The Notebook” star would take the part. Gosling was reportedly offered the role, but blockbuster movies don’t seem to be in his future. The actor has turned down major roles and instead has been cast in independent films.
Watson did not immediately respond to news that her co-star had been cast, but she previously said she is thrilled to be part of the production. "It was such a big part of my growing up, it almost feels surreal that I'll get to dance to 'Be Our Guest' and sing 'Something There.' My 6-year-old self is on the ceiling -- heart bursting," she wrote on Facebook when she was cast. "Time to start some singing lessons. I can't wait for you to see it."
The movie will come out in 2016, but doesn’t have a specific release date, according to the Internet Movie Database. “Beauty” follows 2015’s “Cinderella” and 2014’s “Maleficient,” which are live-action versions of classic Disney productions.
Follow me on Twitter @mariamzzarella