The first few moments I spend hanging out with actor Josh Gad while he’s in Toronto doing press for his voice work in the upcoming Disney animated feature Frozen are spent playing with a plush doll of the character he plays. He’s quick to point out that while Olaf the Snowman carries a lot of his own mannerisms and facial features, Olaf’s nose is considerably bigger. It’s also detachable, which Gad points out would be both a pro and a con in reality.
The good natured and naturally funny actor who made a name for himself as a correspondent on The Daily Show and on Broadway in the smash hit musical The Book of Mormon has already had a big year on the big screen, following memorable live action performances in the Ashton Kutcher starring biopic Jobs (where he played Steve Wozniak) and in the addiction drama Thanks for Sharing. But now, Gad gets to play a warm hearted, cool guy that he can share with his kids.
In the grand Disney tradition of films with awesome sidekicks, Olaf is the creation of Elsa (voiced by another Broadway stalwart, Idina Menzel), the exiled Queen of a seaside community who has let her supernatural ability to create snow and ice run amok in a fit of emotion. With the land pitched into a permanent winter, it’s up to Elsa’s younger sister Anna (Kristen Bell) to travel up the side of a dangerous mountain to talk her sister down. She’s aided in her quest by mountain man Kristoff (Jonathan Groff) and Gad’s eternally optimistic and blissfully clueless snowman.
Check out our interview with Gad below as we discuss his induction into a vast Disney legacy, playing a character that’s only pure, unbridled joy, getting a chance to sing a song penned by some of his former Book of Mormon collaborators, and the happiness he gets from watching Olaf’s connection to children in the audience (including his own).