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Tony Award-winning actress Audra McDonald, who also starred in television’s Private Practice, is in final negotiations to join the cast of Disney’s live action version of Beauty and the Beast.

Gad as Le Fou, Gaston’s buffoonish and loyal sidekick. The live action movie, directed by Bill Condon, is aligning itself closely with the 1991 animated classic, and while Disney hasn't officially said it will be a musical, this is clearly another note in that direction.

McDonald is a stage star that has won acclaim for her voice chops and dramatic chops, reflected in her recent Tony wins: best performance by an actress in a musical for Porgy and Bess in 2012 and best performance by an actress in a play for Lady Day in Emerson’s Bar and Grill in 2014. She also has Tonys for her work in Raisin in the Sun, Ragtime, Carousel and others. (She has six, winning three of them by the age of 28.)

In Beauty, McDonald will be playing Garderobe, the French word for wardrobe.

In Disney’s fairy tale, the Prince is placed under a curse which sees his servants turned into various objects in the castle. The lady-in-waiting turned into Garderobe. She, along with Mrs Potts, a kettle, assist Belle in her initial loneliness and is part of the "Be Our Guest" showstopper.

The character also sings a solo as part of Human Again, a song which was deleted from the 1991 movie but later added to the 2002 special edition DVD.

  • Ashley Judd tweeted Emma:

  • Emma is British AskMen's Most Outstanding Woman:

  • Roland Mouret (fashion designer and creative director for the brand Robert Clergerie) mentions Emma:

GLAMOUR: If we speak of specific names of personalities, which celebrity would be the Clergerie woman?

ROLAND: I think Emma Watson is this balance between sexy but responsible woman, like her work as ambassador for UN Women.
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  • Emma is a modern Greta Garbo:

"I'll stay with my feet on the ground, stuck to my friends" - Emma Watson
"Life would be wonderful if we knew what to do with it" - Greta Garbo

2 DIVAS in an instant

On April 15, 1990 the fate of Greta Garbo and Emma Watson was joined forever. A magical coincidence in which the Swedish actress handed her success over to the young English one.

New York. April 15, 1990. A swarm of photographers and cameramen crowd together at the gates of one of the hospitals in the city before the announcement of the death of Greta Garbo. That same day, 5,830 miles away, in Paris, the Watsons welcome the little Emma, ​​a girl who, years later, will be renamed by JK Rowling as Hermione. Simple coincidence or divine reincarnation? Who knows. But the diva's words shortly before her death make one think about the nature of this incident. "I feel a terrible need to be reborn like a phoenix from its ashes."

Similar in character ...
If there's one thing that differentiates Emma Watson and Greta Garbo from other colleagues, it's the discretion that has always surrounded them. Protective of their privacy, none seems to have used the hustle of Hollywood. In 2009, the English actress took refuge at Brown University to study literature, the same year she was named the highest grossing actress of the decade. For her part, the protagonist of Ninotchka put an end to her career at age 36, when she was helding the throne of the highest paid performer of America; a decision that released her from the harassment of the media. "Being in the press is terribly stupid. It's good that it covers the important people. But I have nothing to contribute."

... And matching styles.
Flats, masculine blouses, British coats and natural makeup. Greta Garbo and Emma Watson have set the trend thanks to the simplicity and delicacy of their classic looks with an androgynous touch. Maybe that's why both were recruited as models being just a teen: the Swedish actress, for a department store in her country of origin and the English one for Burberry and Lancôme. One more coincidence or the proof of a connection?
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  • Douglas Booth mentions Emma:

"Emma Watson says I’m a 90-year-old man trapped in a young body."

Yes or no, you decide.

From Steven Weintraub, working for Collider:

This is only a small part of the sketch.

Josh Gad, the voice of Olaf in Disney’s Frozen, is in final negotiations to return to the studio, this time for the studio’s live action take on Beauty and the Beast.

Gad is the first American to join the project, which already has Brits Emma Watson as Belle, Dan Stevens as the Beast/Prince, and Luke Evans as the vain villain Gaston.

Bill Condon is directing while David Hoberman and Todd Lieberman are producing.

Beauty, a French fairy tale, tells of a young woman who takes her father's place as a prisoner in a monstrous being's castle, only to fall in love with the creature, who turns out to be a prince.

While sometimes Disney takes a more re-imaginative approach to its new takes on classic animated movies by giving them a spiffy live-action make-over (a la Alice in Wonderland or Maleficent), in this case it appears the studio is hewing closer to the acclaimed 1991 original.

Case in point: Gad will play Le Fou, the buffoonish and loyal sidekick to the manly hunter Gaston. It’s a character that was specifically created for the 1991 movie.

I've copied and pasted the programme, and bolded the parts where I think Emma could be concerned, if she's the familiar face she's talking about. But it would be weird if she wasn't.


Lenny Henry and Davina McCall kick off the evening with a brand new Mr Bean sketch starring Rowan Atkinson alongside guest stars Ben Miller and Rebecca Front. Plus the culmination of Dermot O'Leary's 24 hours of non-stop dance and the announcement of the winner of The People's Strictly with Claudia Winkleman and Tess Daly.

David Walliams joins Davina on hosting duties and introduces a special instalment of The Vicar of Dibley, which sees Geraldine finding herself in the frame to be the next female bishop and facing stiff competition from some very famous faces. Plus Mr Khan, music from Ella Henderson and highlights of Peter Kay's sell-out Phoenix Nights Live.

John Bishop joins Davina on hosting duties as Little Britain returns, featuring David Walliams' patronising carer Lou and his new friend Professor Stephen Hawking, and guest star Catherine Tate. Plus music from Sam Smith and a live sketch starring John, Davina, David and Eddie Izzard.

There's more laughter from the London Palladium as the fundraising spectacular continues, with stars including Claudia Winkleman and Sarah Millican. There is also sketch comedy from Stephen Fry, Miranda Hart, Sheridan Smith and a horde of other national treasures.

The comedy gets edgier as we head late into the night, with performances from Russell Brand, Doc Brown and Trevor Noah. And finally, a live sketch from Cardinal Burns takes viewers through to the night's conclusion as the fundraising total is revealed.

Radio 1's very own Comic Relief hero Greg James takes viewers later into the night with an hour-long celebrity-packed extravaganza which gives a behind-the-scenes look at how the legendary night of TV comes together, featuring exclusive interviews from the star-studded cast of thousands who've made this year's show such a success.

David Walliams shares his experience of filming with the legendary Professor Stephen Hawking for Little Britain, Stephen Fry gives us the lowdown on being a national treasure, Ben Miller reveals all about the return of Mr Bean, and there's much more Red Nose Day gossip to fuel the fundraising and even more laughter.

Emma is part of Total Film magazine's 'The 100 Club' as one of the future game-changers.

She has been careful with the roles she has chosen to take following the competition of the Harry Potter franchise.

And as she prepares for the release of her new political thriller, Colonia Dignidad, Emma Watson has admitted that her role in the film was a welcome challenge.

Speaking to Total Film, the actress said: ‘It really challenged me. It really pushed me to the brink, this role.

The Perk Of Being A Wallflower star explained: ‘I got sent the script and my agent sent me the Wikipedia page on Colonia Dignidad.

'I immediately went, "oh my God, I’m not sure!" it was really, really, really heavy and really awful subject matter but the script was such a page-turner and so well written and I’m really a big fan of Daniel Brühl.

'I really liked the Director [Florian Gallenberger]. It all just kind of felt right: a really intelligent female leading role character. It felt like the right thing to do.’

Colonia Dignidad, directed by Oscar-winner Gallenberger, is inspired by true events that took place during the Chilean military coup of 1973.

When Daniel (Brühl) is abducted by General Augusto Pinochet’s secret police, Lena (Watson) tracks him to a cult sanctuary called Colonia Dignidad.

Members of the body, which existed under the guise of being a charitable mission run by a preacher (Michael Nyqvist), tortured prisoners sent there by the former Chilean dictator.

Lena decides to join the cult in order to find her beloved and thus uncover the secrets of Colonia.

Speaking about her career path since Harry Potter, the 24-year-old described the situation saying: 'It feels like I was building a portfolio over the last five, six years.

'Now I feel like I’m ready to really be carrying films. I’m really just ready now to focus on my career full time and go full steam ahead. It’s exciting at the moment.'

Speaking further about the way her career started, she explained: 'I’ve just always been aware that it was a bit of a double-edged sword. I think I never really thought necessarily I’d become an actress or become famous.

'It’s something I felt very passive in. It was something that happened to me. They came to my school. They saw me and they took photographs of me. I was taken up to London to audition.

She continued: 'I just happened to be picked up and put in one of the biggest film franchises of all time. I wanted to feel active in what happened to me in my life.

'I wanted to be able to move myself into a place where I felt like I was driving my career and my life, rather than just responding to things that happened to me. I wanted to try to make it my own.'

See the full interview in the May issue of Total Film on sale from March 13.

Watson, the former Harry Potter star, is to play Belle in a forthcoming live action version of Beauty and the Beast.

In her first interview about the role, with Total Film magazine , she disclosed parts of her performance were already appearing to seem daunting.

I sing, so that’s really unexpected,” she said. “I’ve never had to do that for a film role before, and I think people will be interested to see me do something very different like that.

"It gives me a different challenge, really. That’s terrifying in and of itself!”

The film will be a live-action remake of Disney's Oscar-nominated 1991 musical animation, with British actor Dan Stevens - best known as Matthew Crawley in Downton Abbey - as the Beast.

Announcing the news earlier this year on her Facebook page, Watson said: "I'm finally able to tell you... that I will be playing Belle in Disney's new live-action Beauty and the Beast! 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 six year old self is on the ceiling - heart bursting. Time to start some singing lessons. I can't wait for you to see it. Emma xx"
When asked about her future career plans, she hinted a job behind the lens could soon beckon.

She is working with Harry Potter producer David Heyman, in an executive producer role on a multipart adaptation of fantasy series Queen Of The Tearling in which she will also star.

I really like it," she told the magazine. "For me, to want to sign up to a series again, I wanted to have a certain amount of autonomy and control within that.

“Working with David’s been great. I’d love to direct something one day. I’d love to produce as well, so it’s quite a nice way to start learning about that. Yeah, just dipping my toes into that world.”