‘Beauty and the Beast’ star Josh Gad dishes on musicals
Josh Gad stopped by BUILD Series Wednesday to discuss his passion for musicals, especially “Beauty and the Beast.” The 2017 Disney musical follows a tale as old as time: Belle (Emma Watson) a young woman becomes a prisoner to a Beast in an exchange for her father’s freedom. Despite her initial fears, she befriends the castle’s enchanted staff and she learns to recognize the true soul of the human Prince within. Meanwhile, a hunter named Gaston has his own plans for the unlikely couple. Gad plays LeFou, Gaston’s sidekick, in the live-action remake.
Gad considers himself as “blessed” to have been cast in so many successful musicals. His roles in “The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,” “The Book of Mormon,” “Frozen,” and now “Beauty and the Beast” are nothing short of iconic. “I’ve had a chance to use those skills and that skill set,” gushed Gad. “I would love and welcome the opportunity [to star in more musicals]. Now, with the success of ‘La La Land’ and hopefully ‘Beauty and the Beast,’ I have a feeling Hollywood is going to make more of these. I really do and I hope that they do. I think audiences want all of those performances.”
Josh Gad dishes on “Beauty and the Beast” at BUILD Series.
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In a BUILD Series exclusive, Josh Gad revealed his performance was inspired by film, television and musical theater actor Rory O’Malley. O’Malley is best known for playing King George in “Hamilton” and his Tony Award-nominated performance as Elder McKinley in “The Book of Mormon.”
“I based [the Elder Cunningham character] on Rory O’ Malley,” Gad revealed for the first time Wednesday. “Rory O’Malley was in ‘Book of Mormon,’ he’s got this gee-whiz-kid-from-Cleveland-thing. I took that and made it times a thousand.”
Will Gad be reprising his role as Elder Arnold Cunningham on the big screen? According to Gad, “it’s none of your damn business.” Gad was cautious when addressing the film adoption, explaining “that information will be released when they’re ready to release it. I’ve got your back, Trey and Matt.”
Gad did admit to knowledge of film adaption discussions. “There’s talk. There’s chatter. We’ll see,” he said on BUILD. “The show is a huge success still,” Gad continued before reiterating his love for the movie-musical experience and desire to work with Trey and Matt again. “I love playing characters that have a naivety. I think that’s so funny,” Gad said about his iconic “Book of Mormon” character. Regardless of the South Park creators’ plans, he hopes to sing on the silver screen again soon. “I would love to do more musicals,” he said.
Josh Gad became a household name after appearing in “Frozen.” While he excels at musicals, his talents surely aren’t limited to them. Gad will appear in two upcoming period pieces, one about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, another “Murder On The Orient Express” starring Johnny Depp. Gad is constantly acknowledged by fans of the FX show “The Comedians,” a project with Billy Crystal that ended after one season. “It felt so personal,” Gad spoke earnestly of his role on the FX Show, “it was so personal especially for Billy because I think he showed a side of himself that you know people haven’t seen which was very vulnerable and beautiful and nuanced. A very intense self-awareness.”
Go see “Beauty in the Beast” in theaters Friday. Watch all your favorite celebrity interviews at aol.com/BUILD.