I have yet to meet a princess that doesn’t have a special relationship with her wardrobe. After meeting Audra McDonald who plays the Garderobe (the wardrobe) I can tell you, she sure has left a very positive impression on me. She not only personifies what Belle exemplifies, she also lives it. Here is my Exclusive Audra McDonald Interview on Beauty and the Beast Live Action film by Disney.
Exclusive Audra McDonald Interview on Beauty and the Beast
During my exclusive Audra McDonald interview, I was taken by her passion and friendliness. From the start, it was like we were chatting up with a friend on one of our favorite topics: Disney movies. She was extremely professional and very giving with her time and knowledge.
Being the Garderobe
Audra McDonald shared that usually when working on film, she needs to bring in her voice. Nevertheless, for this one, the opening scene where her character, who is larger than life, was so large she was able to go big and be huge!! Her costume is amazing but it is enormous. Her wig is almost feet tall and the dress was very wide. To the point that she had to go sideways everywhere and crouch down. So her make-up process was long. But when you look at the animation wardrobe you can appreciate how the top of it matches her wig, or the buttons get identified as the knobs of the furniture piece.
The voice over was done in a recording booth. In some ways it was hard, but in some ways it was freeing too. It allows for Audra to work with a sense of play in trying to imagine: “Well, if I was a wardrobe I would talk like this”, for example.
Beauty and the Beast Messages
When we talked about girl power and respect messages so present in Beauty and the Beast, Audra went on to share how she admires Ema Watson. “she has been very smart and responsible of her celebrity it shows in what she chooses to work on. EW has said in many interviews that she wanted to sharpen Belle as the heroine. It means that Belle is not concerned that she is the odd one, and not about to subjugate to Gaston or give up who she is. She invented the washing machine and wants to teach girls to read those details are powerful. That is not lost on Emma and she actually played a part in making sure that the messages were underlined.
Diversity it is very evident in the movie. Audra shares that from the onset you can appreciate it. When you look at the opening scene where the prince has princesses to choose from you can see every and any color under the sun from every creed and region depicted in the princesses.
- When she first got casted Audra didn’t believe her agent. As a matter of fact, she auditioned for the Broadway show and did not get chosen! I just can’t imagine Beauty and the Beast without her! I can’t. She plays a motherly figure to Belle along with Mrs. Pots and Audra gives it the perfect touches.
- The song from the movie that Audra is singing over and over again is a new one: Days in the Sun. It gives a little backstory of the characters and on what they are feeling and missing not being humans anymore. To Audra, it is what makes the ending is so much more powerful.
Audra McDonald’s Cool Mom Super Power
She is always looking for things to continue to challenge her so she can continue to evolve and move forward as an artist. As a mom of 4 kids to whom this is how she wants to set an example. She wants them to take away from her work, that you can achieve anything you set your mind to as long as you are determined to put in the work.
With her demanding schedule, we suggested she drank some Cuban coffee with us. Unfortunately, she is still breastfeeding and can’t try it. Wait, what? A crazy demanding hectic schedule that Beauty and the Beast promotion is and she is breastfeeding! Standing ovation!
The Takeaway for Audra McDonald
As we wrapped up our interview, Audra tells us that her takeaway is the same original Beauty and the Beast message that love conquers all. But in this film, we learn even more that it is important to love ourselves like the Beast did as he learns to love Belle. It is all about love and respect which includes appreciating out differences.
Beauty and the Beast Opens on March 17th
Beauty and the Beast is amazing. On Friday I will be sharing my review with you. Don’t wait for it. Get your tickets for opening weekend NOW!