Billy Eichner & Beyoncé Didn't Meet While Making 'The Lion King,' But He Totally Understands Why
Just because you get cast in a movie with the Queen Bey, that doesn't mean you get to hang out with her. In a recent interview, Billy Eichner admitted he hasn't met Lion King costar Beyoncé, but like most members of the BeyHive, he is just happy to have his name onscreen next to hers.
While speaking with Us, Eichner joked that, "I have had no direct contact [with Beyoncé] nor should I because I’m not worthy of being in her presence," despite starring in the live-action adaptation of the Disney film with her. "Maybe at the premiere," he continued, "We’ll see." But even though Eichner and Beyoncé didn't cross paths during the production of the film, he did reveal to the magazine that their characters — Timon and Nala, respectively — will interact onscreen.
"I don’t have many scenes with [Beyoncé] in the movie," the comedian told Us. "We only exchange a few lines, but me, Seth Rogen and Donald Glover, we all recorded together. We recorded 'Hakuna Matata' together." However, he and Rogen, who will play Pumbaa in the highly-anticipated adaptation, weren't around when the Queen Bey came in to sing the film's great love duet: "Seth and I did 'Can You Feel the Love Tonight' together before Beyoncé and Donald [came] in."
Though he wasn't there to hear Beyoncé sing "Can You Feel The Love Tonight" in the booth, Eichner did admit during a recent appearance on the Keep It podcast that the first time he heard the finished song, he bawled. "She’s definitely in the movie because I’ve seen a rough cut. And I’ve heard her sing ‘Can You Feel the Love Tonight?’ with Donald Glover and I’m telling you, it’s f*cking good," Eichner explained to co-hosts Ira Madison III and Louis Virtel. "And that was never my favorite song to be totally honest."
"I liked it when Elton John sang it. I love Elton John." Eichner continued, trying his best not to accidentally reveal any spoilers: "I don’t want to give too much away about that, they’re very, they do not want us talking about it. I will just say that honestly, it made me cry and I was not expecting that."
In addition to featuring new interpretations of some of the songs that fans love from the original film, the new Lion King adaptation will reportedly have a brand new song from composer Elton John. According to The Sun, the legendary rockstar hinted that he was working with Queen Bey's team to write and record an original song for the live-action Lion King.
"They need to have a new end credits song," John said at the time. "There’s going to be four of our songs in the film, from the original: 'Can You Feel The Love Tonight?' 'Hakuna Matata,' 'I Just Can’t Wait To Be King' and 'Circle of Life.' And then there will be an end, closing song, and we’ve been speaking to Beyonce’s people and hopefully Tim [Rice] and I and her can cook up something."
Along with a potential new song, Eichner has revealed that the new version of The Lion King will also reinvent some of the classic characters for a new generation. "My energy with Seth Rogen is very different than what Nathan Lane and Ernie Sabella’s energy was," Eichner explained on Keep It. "They had this very vaudevillian, Broadway, musical theater, borscht belt style, which here and there, Seth and I borrow from but we don’t lean into that as much."
While the live-action Lion King will likely be different from the classic Disney film fans know and love, based on Eichner's comments, one thing is clear: the Queen Bey will definitely wow fans with her performance.