Josh Gad has a hard time pronouncing my name. It's ironic, considering the film that made him famous, 2013's megahit Frozen , has a protagonist with the exact same name. When I introduce myself at the Four Seasons in Maui for a chat about his latest film, Angry Birds, he assures me: "I did a little movie with a character named Anna, so I know it well." But the truth quickly comes out: "You know what's funny about that? For the first three recording sessions I did for Frozen, they kept having to to remind me to say An-na, I mean Ah-na! Ah-na, because I could not say it." And apparently, he still can't.
"I just always think of it as An-na," he reasons. "I kept mispronouncing it. It should be Ah-na, but my brain couldn't do it. It's really sad."
I inform Gad that I'm a bit offended by his inability to say my name. He offers a solution: "You can call me Jash," he says. "Josh is not a hard name to mispronounce, but my last name is. People say God instead of Gad. I'm like, 'Thank you, but I'm not the one you're looking for.'"
Though he has trouble with names, his sense of humor is clearly still in tact. Something that will come in handy when Frozen 2, the sequel to Disney's story about sisters with magical powers, begins recording. For the uninitiated, Gad plays Olaf, a snowman that was built when sisters Anna and Elsa were children. Because of this, he remains young at heart and eternally happy. He's the comedic relief of the film, and certainly the goofiest character, but what will Olaf get up to in the sequel?
Well, Gad is fairly tight-lipped, but he did say this: "Frozen 2 is very much in the development phase right now, so I don't know anything," he says. C'mon Jash, you can do better than that! I probe him about a possible plot line involving a love interest for Olaf, and Gad laughs. "I think it's a fan theory. I think it's weird if people are like (deepens voice), 'Hey, what's Olaf like when he's in love?'"
It is a funny concept to ponder, not only because Olaf is so child-like, but because he is in fact, made up of three balls of snow stacked on top of each other.
"But what I will say is that what I love about Olaf is his youthful optimism and naivety about life, so anything that comes in contrast to that, and is disruptive to that — unless it serves a great creative purpose — I would be hesitant about," he admits. "But I mean, I trust the writers inherently, so if they want Olaf to be in love, then great! I don't know though, I know as much as you do."
Frozen 2 starring Jash God — er, Josh Gad — Kristen Bell, and Idina Menzel doesn't have a release date yet, but is rumored to be coming out sometime next year.
Here's hoping Gad can learn to pronounce my name by then. Sorry, I'll let it go.