Taming the `Beast’ in Disney classic .Playing a beast is tough. Just ask Justin Glaser, who has the role in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, starting Tuesday at the Arsht Center. The costume is bulky, ungainly and hot, for starters. As for inhabiting the ferocious character (really a cursed prince), the Kentucky native isn’t always the most popular with the audience, which is rooting more for the innocent beauty, Belle (Liz Shivener), than with her gnarly captor. Glaser, 34, talked to us:
What is the hardest part about the role? I’m six foot five and have a slender build out of the costume. When I’m in the full costume, I’m about six-nine and much, much wider. My tail gets stuck on set pieces, or sometimes another actor will step on it unknowingly. My furry hands frequently get attached to beading in Belle’s costume. Depending on how hot a certain venue is, the prosthetic pieces on my face may start falling off of my face at inopportune times.
Did you do a lot of research of the classic tale? I watched the Disney movie, as well as the Jean Cocteau version. I watched documentaries on lions and bears to get ideas for movement. I’m a big movie fan, so I watched a lot of different types of movies from the old Universal monster movies to Shakespearean lovers and tragic heroes on film to the screwball comedies of the ’30s and ’40s to get a feel for the comic battle-of-the-sexes element in the script.