Gad, better known as the voice of Olaf the Snowman in Frozen, has spent much of the past two months on a web series called Reunited Apart, in which he hosts Zoom calls between the main actors in his favorite movies – all the great hits of the 80s, except for The Lord of the Rings. It started with The Goonies, moved on to Splash, Back to the Future, Ghostbusters – and ends Sunday with Ferris Bueller’s Day Off.
“This particular film has struck me as such since its time,” he says. “The main character, who does not have an existing IP address, speaks to the camera and tells us about a day when he left school and is chased by a psychopath. Present it today and you will be thrown out of the room. “
Inventiveness and innocence are refreshing, says Gad, as are intrigue in which bizarre things happen to normal people, rather than superheroes who do extraordinary things. “I’m curious about the evolution of entertainment after the coronavirus,” he says. “People may want to go back to some of these aspects, [rejecting] the cynicism that is in many things now, many of which were the direct result of September 11. ”
While WWII audiences were hungry for films about their own battles, people in the future, Gad thinks, want escape and elevation: “We are all exhausted. The enemy is different – global, mysterious, existentially troubling. “I think part of the success of Reunited Apart is that it reminds people of a time when movies didn’t necessarily have a loaded message. They are right were. ”
The series, like other efforts at the home of optimistic celebrities such as John Krasinski’s Some Good News, was a success. The shows generated substantial profit for good causes: the Lord of the Rings episode, now viewed 5 million times, raised more than $ 2 million for the anti-poverty group for children No Kid Hungry. (Each episode is accompanied by a designated charity and usually has a partner business.)
Gad’s brand stock also increased, although the actor was already something of an American lover for his roles in Frozen and the remake of Beauty and the Beast, as well as the original Broadway distribution of the Book of Mormon and a series of small and large screens. satires.
This eclectic CV – he is also a helping hand on the chatshow circuit – has made a valuable contact book. Preparing Reunited Apart, he argues over names for a week, shoots for a few hours, then hands over to an editor. Some hoped-for shows have failed: Beetlejuice, Coming to America: “I was told frankly by Eddie Murphy’s agent that this would not happen. ”
You can see why some stars might hesitate. Covid’s far-reaching outreach efforts – such as the song by Gal Gadot Imagine – have dangerously misjudged the divide between stars and fans, reiterating the difference, not the mundane. The ideas that Reunited Apart offers on the homes of the wealthy and celebrities are more endearing: the chandeliers are hidden tactfully; instead, there are plenty of distant spatulas and soft shelves, as well as the chance to admire the equine photograph of Christopher Lloyd or the DIY hat of Bill Murray.
A collegial atmosphere governs any excess of praise, while the intimacy of the format acts as an intelligent leveler. It’s easy to feel like you’re listening to the Zoom reunion of a real extended family: many generations happy to see each other in times of crisis, some better with technology than others.
“We are asking everyone to have a second camera, even just an iPhone,” said Gad. “But it’s amazing how hard it is for so many people, once they have filmed, to get them to us. Often times we just get what we get. Our line is bad, but there seems to be lenient whispers about Dan Aykroyd.
Tom Hanks’s participation in Splash, said Gad, was powerful not only because he spoke of having had a coronavirus, but because “his Internet was not working for about 80% of the shooting. It was so endearing. He really is like us. Everyone is going through the same madness, trying to operate in a world that is still very new and complicated, where our only connection is via the Internet. And sometimes it fails. ”
• Reunited Apart is on YouTube.