Dan Stevens: 5 things to know about the 'Beast'

PHOTO: Emma Watson stars as Belle and Dan Stevens as the Beast in Disneys "Beauty and the Beast," a live-action adaptation of the studios animated classic directed by Bill Condon.PlayDisney
WATCH Emma Watson on the challenge of singing in 'Beauty and the Beast'

We are just days away from the highly-anticipated debut of Disney’s newest live-action film "Beauty and the Beast." Emma Watson stars as Belle while Dan Stevens takes on the role of the Beast.

Stevens recently stopped by ABC News’ “Popcorn with Peter Travers.”

Here are 5 things we learned about Stevens

1. He learned to walk and dance on stilts for his role as the Beast

“Emma is small. She’s shorter than me. She’s a petite lady. And that extra 10 inches just accentuated the height,” Stevens said. He added that the stilts required some getting used to.

PHOTO: Belle (Emma Watson) comes to realize that underneath the hideous exterior of the Beast (Dan Stevens) there is the kind heart of a Prince in Disneys Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon.Disney
Belle (Emma Watson) comes to realize that underneath the hideous exterior of the Beast (Dan Stevens) there is the kind heart of a Prince in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," directed by Bill Condon.

“She’s a great dancer but she was terrified of me that I was going to break her toes in these contraptions that I was wearing,” said Stevens. “Fortunately we learned the dance on the ground. As I always say to my kids, if you think you can fly, always test it taking off from the ground. So we learned it on the ground and then worked our way up to these stilts,” he said. Then they found their rhythm.

“Once we got the footwork down, the dancing on the stilts was surprisingly easy. I thought it was going to be a lot more tragic than it actually was," he remarked. "But once we broke through that sort of fear barrier, it was fantastic. There’s something about the waltz that we had to learn and the way that dance is designed to make you feel, this whirling ecstasy, it’s fantastic. Even on stilts.”

Watch Dan Stevens and Emma Watson dance as Beauty and the Beast in this John Legend and Ariana Grande music video for the song “Beauty and the Beast”:

2. Why the prince was turned into a beast

PHOTO: Dan Stevens plays the Beast in Disneys Beauty and the Beast, directed by Bill Condon.Disney
Dan Stevens plays the Beast in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," directed by Bill Condon.

“He’s a rich kid, the son of a billionaire, living in his tower, treating women as objects. He’s not a very nice man really," Stevens said. "He doesn’t really understand love on a sort of elemental level. He thinks these sort of play things can come and go and it’ll be fine. He has a sense of entitlement."

3. For the first time, the Beast gets his own special song

In many of the princess movies, the princess gets her big moment to belt out a rousing number. But this time, a special song was penned by songwriter Alan Menken for the Beast. Menken is best known for his scores for previous Disney films such as "Aladdin," "The Little Mermaid" and "Pocahontas." Menken also scored the animated version of "Beauty and the Beast."

PHOTO: The Beast (Dan Stevens) with Lumiere the candelabra and Cogsworth the mantel clock in the castle kitchen in Disneys Beauty and the Beast, an adaptation of the studios animated classic. Disney
The Beast (Dan Stevens) with Lumiere the candelabra and Cogsworth the mantel clock in the castle kitchen in Disney's "Beauty and the Beast," an adaptation of the studio's animated classic.

"The Beast didn’t have a song in the animated film but in the stage show he did. That song didn’t work so they wrote a new one. And it’s fantastic,” said Stevens.

Watch Josh Groban’s version of Evermore (From “Beauty and the Beast”):

4. The snowball fight scene is awesome

There's great chemistry between Watson and Stevens. Their friendship-turned-romance in the live-action flick includes an epic snow fight.

5. Stevens may look familiar when he's not in costume

PHOTO: In this handout photo provided by Disney Parks, Beauty and the Beast star Dan Stevens visits the films sneak peek experience at Disney California Adventure park, on March 3, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif. Scott Brinegar/Disneyland Resort via Getty Images
In this handout photo provided by Disney Parks, "Beauty and the Beast" star Dan Stevens visits the film's sneak peek experience at Disney California Adventure park, on March 3, 2017, in Anaheim, Calif.

Stevens previously starred as Matthew Crawley on "Downton Abbey." And he's currently playing Legion in the series, “Legion,” on the FX network.

“Beauty and the Beast” hits theaters Friday, March 17. Disney is the parent company of ABC.