This past week, we have been inundated with tons of new photos from Disney's live-action adaptation of their 1991 animated classic Beauty and the Beast. And we've learned quite a bit more about the hugely anticipated fairy tale in the process. We discovered the truth about Beast, and how Belle is now an inventor of music boxes. Today, the focus shifts to one of the secondary, yet none the less important characters Cogsworth.
Disney lucked out, casting a true icon of the silver screen to play the talking clock Cogsworth. Sir Ian McKellen jumped at the chance to play the role. And it just so happens to reunite him with one of his favorite directors, Bill Condon. Condon directed McKellen in the 1988 drama Gods and Monsters, which scored Sir Ian a Best Actor Oscar nomination playing famed Frankenstein director James Whale. The pair once again teamed up just last year for their second collaboration Mr. Holmes, which follows Sherlock Holmes final case during the last few years of that iconic character's life. Now, under the direction of Condon, McKellan takes on a whole different kind of character. He's playing a chatty time piece that sings!
Ian McKellen joins a cast that is led by Emma Watson as Bell and Dan Stevens as Beast. Also in this magnificent ensemble is Emma Thompson as Mrs. Potts, and Audra McDonald as Madame De Garderobe. But it could very well be Cogsworth that steals the show. And it was a truly collaborative effort for Condon and McKellen. The actor says this about the reunion.
"I've done two films now with Bill Condon and we're always looking for a third. So, our third job has turned out to be Beauty and the Beast! It was absolutely typical of Bill that he wanted to have a few friends with him, so I was very very thrilled to suddenly be in my first Disney movie. Such a famous and successful film, and to do the remake as it were, or the reimagining, was very exciting. Cogworth is a sort of a majordomo, that's his real job isn't it, yes? When the castle and the prince go into perpetual winter then he becomes a rather officious clock, a rather small object, he's not a great big grandfather clock, he's just the sort of clock that might be on the mantelpiece. He's reduced considerably in scale and probably doesn't much enjoy that."
While Cogsworth might be relegated to the further corners of the screen while Beast and Belle overshadow the main storyline, that doesn't mean he won't get a few minutes to truly shine. Ian McKellen seems quite proud of his creation. He says this about writing his own Cogsworth song for the movie while talking to Entertainment Weekly.
"When we were in the studio, I kept singing what I thought should be a rather good addition to the score. 'My name is Cogsworth!/And I'm a clock!/Tick-tock!' But I'm afraid I didn't get my own song, so I just joined in the big number, 'Be Our Guest.' I think perhaps I have a couple of lines on my own, I'm not quite sure how it will all work out. But to be surrounded by Audra MacDonald and the two Emmas all singing out was all just thrilling."
On Friday, Disney released 9 official photos from Beauty and the Beast. These first look images show us all of the characters in Beauty and the Beast, including Cogsworth and his friends. You can take a look at all the stunning images in the gallery included here. Beauty and the Beast opens nationwide March 17, 2017.