Tale as old as time. True as it can be.
The love between Belle and the Beast is one of my favorite stories ever, and I was blessed to have a front row seat to their budding romance. But when you are on staff for decades in a castle full of sentient homegoods and a cursed, moody monstrosity, the tea gets awfully steamy.
(Plus my NDA expired at the end of last year.) Nevertheless, my book will bring you behind the castle doors, for a sultry and unedited look of a strange, magical estate and a world of strange, magical characters.
Let’s just say that Belle and Beast were not the only ones who found love in a hopeless place. Often our castle felt like a Real World house with the rampant bed-sharing, screaming fights, and sinks full of piled up dirty dishes. (Ever wonder how Chip got his nick AND his nickname?)
While the award winning feature film shared one story of romance, Beast had many lady callers—and even some gentlemen—before Belle ever traipsed into the castle. Face it, if an enchantress put you under a time spell to find love before a magical rose wilted, you’d drop the judgment too. I don’t want to give away too many stories, but Disney should be happy things didn’t work out between Beast and Sandra, the wayward study-abroad backpacker from Amherst, nor Jacque Rocher, the real estate surveyor, who didn’t expect to stay sixteen months.
Barely even friends. Then somebody bends. Unexpectedly.
Belle did read a lot, but many of her tomes were full of wild conspiratorial and frequently offensive conjecture. Belle and her father, the inventor, had questionable theories about science, which were further radicalized once she met a house full of talking objects. Her off-camera relationship to Cogsworth was fraught with tension about whether time was a lie of the masters. I won’t spoil anything, but I can understand why her story piqued the interest of Walt Disney.
Both a little scared. Neither one prepared.
I will introduce you to other castle regulars, who were left on the cutting room floor, in lieu of another Lumiere solo. “Be Our Guest” as we rehash the epic fights between the fine china and the everyday place settings that often spilled out from the pantry, through the dining room, and into the salon. And while less sexy than the fighting, Saul the Fireplace Bellow is a dear friend whose battle with lung cancer is central to many of our own lives.
Bittersweet and strange. Finding you can change. Learning you were wrong.
Though you’ve undoubtedly read about Belle and Beast’s life after love defeated the spell, Cogsworth, Lumierre, Chip, and the coat rack have important stories to be told.
Who looms over the castle now? Who left to try to find love on their own? And who ended up in jail for arson? It won’t be who you expect!
Mrs. Potts Spills the Tea will be available at select online bookstores next month.