A classic like Beauty and the Beast needs a bit of magic to succeed, and from the way Sir Ian McKellen describes Disney’s latest take on the tale, there’s more than enough to around.
McKellen tweeted a short description/story/ode to the first table read of the live-action Beast film Disney currently has in the works. The actor, who is playing Cogsworth, describes in sheer delight what a table read is, his late arrival to it, and what occurred during the elaborate reading.
The cast gathered around four long tables with a clock, feather duster, and candelabra settled in the middle of them.
“Elsewhere, everything and everyone was alive and even kicking, high-kicking too,” McKellen wrote. “[Director] Bill Condon had decided to put on a show and I’ve never seen or heard anything like it.”
The table read, according to McKellen, included no less than live musicians and a 30-person choir to accompany the actors as they ran through the film’s songs, for which composer and lyricist, respectively, Alan Menken and Tim Rice were both in attendance.
McKellen notes some singing and dancing rehearsals had already begun, but that he was looking forward to his, remaining humble as he expressed how difficult it will be to “equal what has already been achieved.” And if that doesn’t warm your heart, the simple joy of his final lines likely will.
“All the long way home, I hummed ‘Be [Our] Guest,’ in which I shall get to sing a line or two,” he wrote. “Aren’t I the lucky one?”