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Disney’s live-action Beauty and the Beast will see Ewan McGregor turn into a candlestick, while co-stars Sir Ian McKellen and Emma Thompson will morph into a clock and a teapot, respectively. But the transformation that’s hardest to envisage is Dan Stevens shape-shifting into anything even vaguely beast-like.

And yet beastly he is. The latest trailer, released last week (January 31), shows him towering over Maurice (Kevin Kline), and frightening Belle (Emma Watson) with his horned and rather hirsute visage:

Wait, can that really be our Dan under all that?

The Downton Abbey star was on Today yesterday (February 6) to discuss his starring role in Legion, but the presenters couldn’t help but ask about the Disney movie.

“Well, here’s the thing: It was all CGI,” he explains. “It was motion-capture puppeteering for the suit, and the face was done separately, using a different technology. And they brought it all to life.”

“So when I was on set, I was on stilts in a big muscle suit, covered in Lycra,” Dan recalls. “Everything else looked gorgeous and beautiful. Emma Watson, her dress — beautiful. The sets were incredible. And there’s me, just sweating away through the set, ‘This is going to look different, right? This is going to be OK?'”

Trust us: Dan’s impression of himself in the suit really has to be seen.

So much of the movie was done in post-production, in fact, cameras stopped rolling almost two years ago in August 2015.

“Over the months, I’ve seen it emerge, this Beast,” says Dan. “These guys over at Disney putting every digital hair, every digital pore on my digital face. It’s been amazing to watch it.”

There’s one thing can’t be hidden, however, and that’s those blue eyes. Watch presenter Sheinelle Jones almost forget her question under Dan’s “captivating” gaze:

Go on, admit it: Were you captivated?

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By Kat Sommers
Kat is a freelance writer for Anglophenia.