Nathan, 11, who plays Chip in the live-action film

Eleven-year-old Nathan Mack’s role in Disney’s live-action film Beauty & the Beast, is a smashing one – literally. The young Essex actor plays Chip, a boy who has been turned into a chipped teacup.

Beauty (Stagecoach Alumni Emma Watson) and Beast (Dan Stevens)

Q. Being Chip sounds like fun. How did you get the part?
A. “I never thought I would be in this film, but I got the part through the Stagecoach Talent Agency. They put me forward for the audition.”

Q. You’ve been attending Stagecoach Chelmsford for four years. How has that helped your acting?
A. “It’s given me confidence. My drama teacher always helps us to be ourselves and to have fun, and I get inspiration and good advice about acting.”

Q. How did you prepare for the audition?
A. “I was sent the lines and immediately started learning them. I also wanted to make sure that I made a good impression, just in case they were looking for a good personality as well as a good actor.”

Q. What was the audition like?
A. “They always try to make you feel comfortable before you audition, so we had a little conversation and they got me laughing.” 

Q. Can you remember what you talked about?
A. “They asked me: if I could be any mythical creature, what would I be? I said I’d like to be a dragon, because I could fight bad people and make other people happy, and then I told a few jokes.”

Q. What did you like about playing Chip?
A. “He’s a normal boy who  is positive about his situation. He’s also very cheeky and quite funny.”

Q. What was it like being an animated character?
A. “I was in the studio in London with Emma Thompson, and we tried to make it as real as possible and just bounced off each other, saying the lines.”

Q. What did you like best about working on this film?
A. “Meeting and working with people who I never thought I would meet. I grew up watching the Harry Potter films and I met Emma Watson, Emma Thompson, Ewan McGregor and many others.”

Q. What tips would you give to other young performers?
A. “Try your best and if you don’t get an audition, don’t worry. You just might not be right for the role. Oh, and enjoy what you’re doing!”

Beauty and the Beast is in cinemas from 17 March.

Interview by Nicola Venning. Photographs c) 2016 Disney Enterprises inc. All Rights Reserved.