Jeremy Irons smoked his way through Scar's musical numbers in 'The Lion King'

Jeremy Irons has the voice of a king — or at least a king’s brother, as he proved with his deliciously wicked work voicing Simba’s evil uncle Scar in Disney’s 1994 animated hit, The Lion King.

And if you ever noticed an ever-so-slight rasp in the famed British thesp’s low, sinuous vocals in the film, there’s a reason for that.

“He’s a smoker, so when we recorded him, he was smoking, including [during] the song ‘Be Prepared,‘” Lion King co-director Rob Minkoff told Yahoo Movies during a Facebook Live interview on Monday (watch above) while promoting the film’s new Signature Edition home release.

Minkoff then provided a reenactment of Irons’s showy vocals… followed by a massive puff of a cigarette. “We had to edit out all of [the smoking],” the filmmaker laughed.

This was the early ’90s, after all, when smoking in places of employment (like recording studios) wasn’t entirely unheard of — especially in Europe. Irons taped his vocals in London.

And speaking of kings and their brothers, Minkoff also set the record straight on a Lion King news item that circulated last week claiming that Mufasa and Scar were not actually brothers. “We talked about the fact that it was very likely they would not have both the same parents,” the film’s producer Don Hahn, who joined Minkoff for an interview with Hello Giggles, was quoted saying.

“That was a misunderstanding, they are brothers, I just want to clarify that,” Minkoff told us. “We did an interview and we were talking about the actual habits of lions in the wild and what they do. And we got off on a tangent, I think, and there was a bit of a misunderstanding… But for sure, they are brothers.”

The Lion King‘s Signature Edition Blu-ray and Combo Pack is now available.

Watch our full Facebook Live interview:

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