Josh Gad, 38, Los Angeles
Actor, producer, and writer
1. A Dog’s Journey comes out in May. What’s in store for Bailey in this sequel to A Dog’s Purpose?
Spoiler alert: Bailey lives to see another day. Even though we think some journeys are fully complete, there’s still more to learn. And that is very much the foundation for this story.
2.When you’re creating animated characters like Bailey, and Olaf in Frozen and Frozen 2, how do you find their voices?
With Olaf, it all started with a couple of words, which were naïve, youthful, childlike. And that was the catalyst for discovering the childlike wonderment that embodies the sweet sensibility Olaf takes on every adventure that he goes on. With Bailey it was different … he’s kind of brand-new to the world, but there’s a deeper breadth to his knowledge because he’s lived so many times.
3. How is the acting process different for you, voicing a character versus playing one in a live-action film?
When you’re doing voice acting, you are telling an entire story with one asset — and that’s your voice. Conveying complex emotions in your voice is much harder than it is to achieve when you have your full body.
4. You’ve been very public about your anxiety. How and when did it start?
I was a junior going into my senior year of college. It occurred to me that in one year’s time, I was going to be completely independent for the first time in my life. I suddenly felt like I couldn’t breathe. I felt like the world was closing in on me. I finally went to see a therapist and talked about what I was feeling. And that was the first time I heard the word “ anxiety.”
5. What have you done to manage your anxiety?
Therapy was the key in that it afforded me the opportunity to really talk through all those issues I was dealing with.
6. What is your personal health philosophy?
It’s everything in moderation and trying day to day to make the healthiest possible choices I can.
7. What’s the best health advice anyone has given you?
The best advice I’ve ever gotten wasn’t actually advice. It was watching my 96-year-old grandfather and learning from him. Both my grandparents on my mother’s side were Holocaust survivors, and they were put through enormous tests in their youth. They miraculously overcame that and survived, and they both lived for a very long time. I think the key to their longevity was understanding the term “moderation” and that every day of life is a gift.
8. How has being a father to your daughters, Ava and Isabella, changed you?
I was very egocentric until I had my kids. I always worried about myself. And the second that these two little bundles arrived, it suddenly became all about them.
9. How has parenthood changed the way you care for your own health?
I was never really a gym person prior to having my kids, but a healthy lifestyle is something that I am so profoundly aware of now as my responsibility to my children. It’s not about me. It’s about the fact that I need to be around as long as I possibly can for them.
10. What disease would you most like to see eradicated in your lifetime?
Cancer, without a doubt. When we can put a man on the moon and we can send a robot to Mars, I think it’s within our grasp to conquer this.
Find more articles, browse back issues, and read the current issue of WebMD Magazine.WebMD Magazine – Feature Reviewed by Michael W. Smith, MD on March 27, 2019
Interview, Josh Gad
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