Starring in the new Beauty and the Beast film is a dream come true for Audra McDonald after missing out on a role in the Broadway stage musical back in 1993.
The actress, a six-time Tony Award winner, was just starting out when she auditioned for a minor part in the theatre adaptation of the hit animated movie musical - and she failed to catch the eye of Disney composer Alan Menken.
More than two decades later, Audra tried her luck again as studio bosses began looking for stars for the live-action revamp, and this time she was successful, landing the character of the Wardrobe, Madame Garderobe.
And as the cast and crew prepared to begin production, Audra made a point to jokingly remind Menken of his casting snub years earlier.
"I auditioned to be in the ensemble (for the Broadway musical) and I wasn't cast and I was devastated, and then, you know, things worked out!," she smiled on U.S. breakfast show Good Morning America.
"Then the night before we started filming in London, I said to Alan Menken at a dinner, I said, 'Hey, I auditioned for you back in 1993 for the Broadway (show)...' He was like, 'I know, I know, I know! Is this OK instead?' I said, 'Yeah, this is pretty good!'"
The new movie features Emma Watson as Belle, opposite Dan Stevens as the titular Beast, and the star-studded cast had a blast belting out songs onset.
"Usually when you're doing animated films... you do a lot of the work in the voice studio, by yourself, but because you see us, at times, in our human forms (for the live-action remake), we all got to be onset together," Audra explained.
"You've got people like Sir Ian McKellen, Emma Thompson and Emma Watson, and Luke Evans, and Josh Gad... everybody was just hanging out, it was incredible, and we all got really close."
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