Josh Gad is certainly one of the most talked about actors of March. The Beauty and the Beast star, whom Disney fans may recognize as the voice of Olaf in 2013’s Frozen and the upcoming sequel Frozen 2, plays LeFou in the live-action adaptation of the Disney classic.
— Movie TV Tech Geeks (@movietvtechgeek) March 14, 2017
But what gained Josh Gad worldwide success – and in some countries worldwide shaming – is that he plays Disney’s first ever openly gay character in Beauty and the Beast, which hits theaters on Friday, March 17.
Reports about LeFou being gay have been making headlines for nearly two weeks now, despite the fact that Beauty and the Beast hasn’t even been released yet.
— The Mary Sue (@TheMarySue) March 7, 2017
This week, Malaysian censors cut out the “gay moment” from Beauty and the Beast before letting Malaysian viewers, the majority of whom are Muslims, watch the live-action film starring Emma Watson and Luke Evans on the big screen. Boycotts erupted in other countries and on social media, with many saying that homosexuality and gay characters are being “rammed” down children’s throats through Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.
Russia’s Culture Ministry even banned children under 16 from seeing the live-action film citing “overt and shameless propaganda of sin and sexual perversion.”
— TalkingWithTami (@TalkingWithTami) March 14, 2017
And while Josh Gad, who’s preparing to roll out his Olaf voice for Frozen 2, certainly appreciates the sudden attention to his character around the world, he says he doesn’t understand why the world has gone bonkers over a gay Disney character. Speaking to Fairfax last week, the Frozen actor says that the whole gay “thing” has been “overblown” by the media, according to the Sydney Morning Herald.
“Now that audiences are seeing the film they’re agreeing that there’s not much there to this story [about the gay moment].”
In the same interview, Josh Gad also spoke about his Frozen success with the Olaf voiceover, calling it “crazy.” Frozen broke numerous records in 2013, earning a total of $1.276 billion worldwide, surpassing such high-grossing animated films as Minions($1.18 billion) and Toy Story ($1.07 billion).
Josh Gad, who voiced one of the most prominent characters in Frozen, says many people in the streets recognize his Olaf voice.
“It gets very funny because I’ll be in a grocery store and I’ll open my mouth and all of a sudden you’ll see a three-year-old girl [going] ‘What’s that?’ It’s that look that they give you of ‘Is that what I think it is?’ It’s such a joy.”
— Katherine Becker (@kaybeck12) March 3, 2017
After the gay controversies surrounding Beauty and the Beast, one can only imagine what kind of situations Josh Gad will get after playing gay LeFou in the new live-action film.
Although Josh Gad had a few minor roles over the years before his success as Olaf in Frozen, the 2013 Disney film served as the launchpad for his acting and narrator career.
Josh Gad, who before voicing Olaf in Frozen had appeared in guest roles on ER, Modern Family, and Californication, is currently attached to one of the highest anticipated projects called Murder on the Orient Express. In the upcoming Kenneth Branagh-directed film, Josh Gad stars alongside Johnny Depp, Penélope Cruz, Dame Judi Dench, Daisy Ridley, Michelle Pfeiffer, and many other Hollywood stars.
While playing gay LeFou in Beauty and the Beast certainly got Hollywood’s attention for future projects, it was Josh Gad’s role of the beloved snowman in Frozen that Disney fans will always remember him for.
In 2019, Josh Gad will once again entertain Disney fans with his Olaf voice when Frozen 2 brings its sequel to the big screen. Frozen 2 will reportedly bring back all of the original cast voice members, including Idina Menzel, Kristen Bell, Jonathan Groff and, of course, Gad, according to the International Business Times.
— MTV UK (@MTVUK) May 24, 2016
Josh Gad’s voiceover success in Frozen and his one-of-a-kind melodic vocal abilities also got him another narration project in Universal Pictures’ new family adventure, A Dog’s Purpose.
Josh Gad’s fans will get to see just how gay his LeFou in Beauty and the Beast is when the film hits the big screen on Friday.
[Featured Image by Ron Eshel/AP Images]