We have and always will love Disney. And with Disney India’s Beauty and the Beast just a few days shy of their first show, there’s plenty to look forward to. We got the chance to sit down with the leading man, Edwin Joseph, who plays Beast. A true blue Dilliwaala, this tall, dark and handsome newbie finished off his undergraduate course at Stephens, and now steps into the limelight.

LBB: Tell us how/why you decided to audition for Beauty & the Beast? 

Edwin Joseph: I’ve been a singer all my life. Whether it was rock, the blues- you name it, I’ve forayed into it. The past year and half was a fairly good learning curve since I started singing opera with the Neemrana Foundation, so this was a natural next step. I’ve also been part of over 25 productions through my years at Stephens, so that definitely helped.

LBB: We’ve been backstage a few times ourselves and we know some crazy stuff goes down; what’s been the funniest thing that’s happened to you during a practice session so far?

Edwin Joseph: {laughs} I’ve had a few funny moments, considering I have a lot of prosthetic make-up and props. Once, I couldn’t get my jacket off after a really dramatic scene because I was wearing the gloves with fake hair. After much ado, and no help from Mrs. Potts, Cogsworth and Lumiere {considering they have no hands}, I continued with the jacket halfway down my arms. As they say- the show must go on.

LBB: If not Beast, what other character would you like to play within the production? Why?

Edwin Joseph: Oh! It’d be Gaston, without a doubt. He’s the quintessential musical character; all the song and dance sequences, always with a whole group of people around him. Beast is more of a broody character, always alone and mostly isolated. But Gaston? He’s always got that large dancing troupe and all that super fun dialogue. I can imagine it being a blast.

LBB: Can you tell us one movie {musical or otherwise} that inspired your love for the stage? Perhaps a part on a movie/show that you saw and imagined yourself emulate.

Edwin Joseph: I’ve always wanted to play a Disney villain. There’s just something about them, y’know? They all have those deviant voices and are always these cool, snazzy guys. The first anti-hero that kind of floored me was Scar from The Lion King– he’s a phenomenal character. The way ‘Simba’ just kind of rolls off his tongue; I’d love to play the anti-hero someday.

3LBB: You’re a born and bred Delhi boy. What is it about the city that inspires you?

Edwin Joseph: I think that it’s hard to classify the city. There is no one definition of Delhi. Most families haven’t been here for more than three generations so they bring their roots with them, whether they’re from Nagaland or Kolkata. There’s a vast collection of experiences, stories and backgrounds to learn from. All of this comes together to form Delhi, so there’s always a new way to be inspired by the city.

LBB: If someone had one day to spend in good ol’ Dilli, recommend three things that you think they must do before leaving.

Edwin Joseph: Two of those things have to be food, they just have to be. One would be momos- I don’t think any other city in the country does momos like we do. The second would definitely have to be butter chicken. I’m not even the biggest fan of north Indian food, but that dish from one of the spots on Pandara Road, or from the original Moti Mahal is a must-try.

As for the third thing, I’d recommend that the person in question enjoy the wide, green spaces Delhi has to offer. My personal favourite is Lodhi Garden; it’s one of those buffer zones. You step in and feel like you’ve left the city. It’s great.

LBB: Now let’s flip. If you had to pick one other city to live in, which one would it be?

Edwin Joseph: I’d have to say Bombay. It’s got this fresh vibe and the people are so nice. You could be walking around at 3am and you’ll meet someone friendly. Or New York. It’s got that young, creative culture, a sort of an urban feel. And then there’s Broadway- that’s a big attraction no doubt.

Disney India’s Beauty and the Beast opens on the 19th of December. Get your tickets here. Follow the action on Facebook here.

When: 19 – 27 Dec

Where: Thyagaraj Sports Complex, INA Colony