Here's more of my spontaneous smart-assity during production on Disney's BEAUTY & THE BEAST. This one seems utterly preposterous in retrospect, because it ridicules the very notion of casting Robby Benson as the voice of "The Beast", an idea that seemed outlandish to many on the crew...that is, until we heard him. Robby Benson turned out to be spectacular as the character and his performance was packed with emotion, intensity and humor.
The main reason the news of this choice at first struck us so odd is because by 1990, (when this was written), Robby Benson hadn't been seen or heard on screen in about ten years. Somewhere around his 20th birthday he moved into a behind the scenes job as a successful director. Prior to that he had been the teen heart-throb of millions of kid sisters in the 1970's, the original "emo" teen actor with a puppy-dog face and a sleepy, whispering voice. We had all been expecting an older actor for 'Beast' and the idea of a soft-spoken former teen star seemed nuts at first blush. I think I speak for all dissenters when I say we were happy to be proven wrong.(If you're under 30 most of the names in these jokes were child stars at one time or another. Except #5, who was playing "The Beast" in a BEAUTY & THE BEAST prime time TV soap opera around then. And Max Baer Jr., who produced Robby Benson's breakout film is better known as "Jethro" on TV's THE BEVERLY HILLBILLIES.)