Pontypool born actor Luke Evans is to appear in Disney’s latest blockbuster ‘Beauty and the Beast’.

The film is a live-action adaptation of the studio’s 1991 animated version.

The Welsh actor, who was raised in Aberbargoed‎, is playing the role of the village heartthrob and rogue Gaston.

Emma Watson plays Belle and Dan Stevens plays the role of The Beast.

In the film Gaston is smitten with Belle, but she is strong-willed and remains impervious to his charms.

Gaston’s bumbling sidekick LeFou is played by Josh Gad, best known as the voice of Olaf in ‘Frozen’.

Mr Evans said: “I haven’t done a lot of comedy, but it’s been fun to play Gaston and be able to bounce off the likes of Josh Gad, a very accomplished comedian with perfect timing.”

“Gaston doesn’t see the world the way everyone else sees it. He’s at the top of the pyramid and everyone else is below him. He thinks he can do no wrong and does not understand why Belle does not want to be his wife.

"I mean, God, is she mad? Is she blind? Is she stupid?  He doesn’t get it, which is funny in and of itself, so I really tried to play up the comedic aspects.”

Director Bill Condon wanted to expand upon the story’s timeless themes and add more depth and dimension to the familiar characters from the 1991 film.

In casting Mr Evans he said: “Luke has all the qualities that are right for Gaston but he has this other thing which comes from years of working on a stage and which is so important to have in a movie musical, and that’s the joy of performing. This is a role he was born to play.”

Beauty and the Beast comes to cinemas on March 17.