For actor Dan Stevens, who is almost unrecognizable as the Beast in Disney’s live action Beauty and the Beast, one of the unexpected benefits in taking on the role was the fact that he could “freak out” his kids with some of the accessories he acquired to play the part — specifically, a set of fangs he had made.
“I used the fangs in the pre-production exploration to find the voice, to find the shape of the mouth,” Stevens, 34, tells PEOPLE. “I did get to take those home and play with those and yeah, freaked my kids out a bit.”
He continues, “But they kind of grew to love them. They would request that I would put them in and freak their friends out. I still have them. They’re great at Halloween.”
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The former Downton Abbey star says that while his kids with wife Susie Stevens, a former jazz singer, enjoyed the fangs, they aren’t particularly impressed with dad’s high-profile job.
“They’re pretty level-headed about it so far,” Stevens says. “My daughter [Willow, 7] thinks it’s very funny that there are premieres, people get excited to see us all, she doesn’t quite understand why.”
“My son [Aubrey, 4] was with a friend the other day and Beast and Belle were on the cover of a magazine and his friend was getting very excited, there we were, and my son just went, ‘Yeah that’s just my dad in a suit,’ ” Stevens adds. “He’s not that fazed.”
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But that’s not to say his kids didn’t enjoy watching dad in action as the Beast.
“My daughter was 5 when we filmed this, so just perfect age to walk into a ballroom full of princesses and freak out,” Stevens recalls with a laugh. “They’ve now seen the film and it’s a pretty magical experience.”
For much more on Dan Stevens and Beauty and the Beast, pick up the latest issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands now.