It sounded odd when I heard the CW Network was going to make an updated version of the late ‘80s TV series “Beauty and the Beast.” If you have not seen it, track down the DVDs. It’s a beautiful story about the love been a woman (Linda Hamilton) and a sewer dweller (Ron Perlman) who has very beastly features. The makeup’s amazing and really helps sell the fact this woman is in love with the Beast because of how beautiful he was on the inside.
That worked for CBS 25 years ago but the CW goes after a very different — and much younger — demographic. That’s why you would be hard pressed to find anyone not handsome or beautiful as a star of one of the network’s shows. You seen the cast of “90201”?
When you watch the series debut tonight of the new “Beauty & the Beast,” you’ll see that to get around making the Beast not so attractive, star Jay Ryan plays the character as being ugly on the inside.
“I’ve kind of based this role on his genetic makeup. He has DNA from many different animals. So I’ve sort of researched all the strongest elements that come from the vision of a hawk, the strength of a tiger, all this sort of stuff,” Ryan says. “So that’s where I start the sort of physical aspect of the role from. For me, it feels like Vincent is the body, but the beast is the disease and it’s trying to come out and he’s trying to suppress it.”
What makeup is done when his beastly side emerges still takes four hours in the makeup chair. Even weeks before the show launched, the team was finalizing his look.
“The idea was to show less is more so we had room to move in the series and develop his look as he becomes beastlier,” Ryan says. “What’s under his clothes? Has he got scars from other beasts? Has he got hairy nipples?”
Since this is the CW, don’t look for too many scars or a lot of hair.