Gaston has been given a tragic backstory in the new Beauty and the Beast movie

Though Luke Evans was asked to tone down his tortured performance

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Nobody broods like Gaston, has sad moods like Gaston, suffers from Post-Traumatic distress like Gaston!

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Or so it apparently will seem in the new live-action Beauty and the Beast movie, which has reportedly added a little depth to villainous French hunk Gaston from the original movie beyond ‘wants to marry Belle, eats an unhealthy amount of eggs’.

“The fact of the story is that Gaston is a war hero and an army captain, and the only reason he’s got this celebrity status in Villeneuve is because when he was about 16, he protected the town from a pack of Portuguese marauders in 1740,” actor Luke Evans (who plays the conceited hunk in the new film) explained to EW, adding new layers of canon to the previously unsketched character.

“He probably does suffer from PTSD, which he manages to keep under wraps because he has people like the villagers and LeFou and the girls who puff him up and make him feel sexy and wanted,” Evans went on.

“But below that is a broken human being. He’s jaded, and the second he realises that he’s not going to get what he wants, this military creature comes out of him.”

Evans also went on to reveal that the reason sidekick LeFou (played by Josh Gad) is so obsessed with his character is also related to the military, with the smaller man serving with Gaston in the war and becoming witness to his feats of bravery. Just look at that – some character depth!

However, we’ll sadly probably never see this fully nuanced Gaston, as Evans says he was asked to tone down his “darker” performance. 

“When I first met [director Bill Condon] he asked me to play him darker. There was a lot of anguish inside him, bubbling away. And he wasn’t happy that Belle had rejected him. Instead of being this petulant pouting child needing to be fluffed up by his fans in the tavern, there was a much darker side to him. And we sent that to Disney, and… there was a delay.

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The 1991 cartoon version of Gaston

“Long enough that I thought, ‘Shit, maybe somebody else went in and nailed it!’ And I really thought I had done a good job. Then I got a phone call and I thought, ‘Okay, obviously they’re phoning me to tell me thank you, but no.’ And it was Bill, and he said, ‘Do you remember when you came in and you wanted to play him with comedy and I told you to do it dark? Well, I need you to come in and do that.’ It’s not ‘comedy,’ but more of the Gaston that we remember.”

Oh well – turns out no-one backtracks like Gaston either.

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Beauty and the Beast is released in UK cinemas on the 17th March