PHOTO: Dia Dipasupil/Getty Images
There’s no man in town as admired as Gaston; he’s everyone’s favorite guy. And according to a new interview with People, Idris Elba, everyone’s other favorite guy, almost played that “man among men” in this year’s live-action remake of Beauty and the Beast.
After talking with People about his musical theater background (and singing a snippet from a Guys and Dolls song), Elba revealed what could’ve been. “I honestly love musicals,” he said. “I auditioned for Beauty and the Beast. I really did, for Gaston.” He continued, “I called, I said, ‘Listen, I want in!’ They were like, ‘Ah, uh, ah, OK!’ So somewhere they have a tape of me singing.”
Sadly, Elba flatly refused to re-create the audition during the interview. “Here’s the thing: No,” he said, since, after all, “I didn’t get the part.” The 45-year-old also joked that the casting directors probably thought he was “a little old” and that he resented Luke Evans, who ended up landing the role of Gaston, “only a little bit.” He quickly added, “No, I love you, Luke, you know that. Great actor.”
Honestly, as incredible as he would’ve undoubtedly been in the villainous role, it’s probably for the best that Elba was passed over. Look on the bright side: Seeing the Luther star embodying Gaston’s toxic masculinity and rampant misogyny would’ve been tragic for Idris Elba fans. This way, the Internet’s campaign for him to be the next James Bond—which needs to happen—can continue, unfettered by any clips or GIFs of him saying Gaston’s problematic lines.
That said, it would be totally fine if he were to get cast in a new revival of Guys and Dolls and got to show off his impressive singing chops once again.