Léa Seydoux and Vincent Cassel star in 'Beauty and the Beast'

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‘Beauty and the Beast’ is a 21st century version of Jean Cocteau’s 1946 classic.

The movie explores the traditional fairytale story of a merchant caught plucking a rose for his daughter in the Beast’s garden and who must pay with his life. When his daughter insists on taking his place, she encounters not death but an enchanted castle and a charming Beast.

The movie was premiered at the Berlin Film Festival, where lead actress Léa Seydoux took to the red carpet with co-star Yvonne Catterfeld.

The film’s director, Christophe Gans, said it was a tribute to Jean Cocteau.

“The last thing I wanted to do was to tread on the toes of a masterpiece like Jean Cocteau’s classic movie. What I wanted to do was show another side of the tale that Cocteau didn’t touch upon, because his movie was made in a certain era and Cocteau’s artistic sensitivity meant there were certain aspects of the tale which he didn’t explore,” said the film director.

Beauty’s father is played by veteran French actor, André Dussollier.

“It was a beautiful adventure and it’s great to be back here in Berlin because we shot the film a year ago in the Babelsberg studios and the German crew was great to work with,” said André Dussollier.

French actor Vincent Cassel is the Beast. He said that while working on the role, he opted for a low-key interpretation:

“The question was whether I should start working on lion postures, stuff like that. And then I realised that the director didn’t really want me to mimic an animal. So I chose to be as natural as possible, I went for a gentle, deep voice, because anyway, since it’s a magic castle, even someone standing at the other end of the room can hear me as if I’m standing right next to them,” he said.

“I think you have to remember what it’s like being a child. At the start of his film, Jean Cocteau wrote a little text that said ‘You have to watch this movie with the soul of a child’, and I think he was right,” said Léa Seydoux about the film.

‘Beauty and the Beast’, (‘La Belle et la Bête’), is on release now across Europe.

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