When special effects do their job, they create an illusion so seamless we forget we’re looking at something that’s not really there. The Beast in Disney’s hit live-action retelling of Beauty and the Beast is such an impressive work of motion-capture technology that it can be easy to overlook the amount of effort, energy, and looking incredibly stupid in a giant gray unitard required to turn Dan Stevens into a feral creature.

This fascinating (and laugh-out-loud funny) video from behind the scenes of Beauty and the Beast (via USA Today) pulls back the curtain and really puts it all in perspective. Take a look:

A few thoughts: First, Emma Watson is a freaking hero for looking at Stevens in romantic scenes without laughing. Second: Look at how much outward facial work Stevens has to do to get the CGI Beast to perform. It’s all over-exaggerated teeth and snarls and lip curls and chomping. The finished result looks convincing, but it’s funny how in order to get the mocap tech to register movement you have to behave like the hammiest theater actor in history times a million.

Also, I would argue that a more dramatic version of this story would involve a man locked away in a castle who doesn‘t turn into a beast but just gets trapped in an unflattering mocap suit. Who could love such a monster? Now that’s a movie.

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