Idina Menzel is a Broadway legend as she soared to stardom when she played Maureen in Rent and Elphaba in Wicked. She went on to have several roles in TV shows including Glee and now most people know her as the voice of Elsa from the hit Disney film Frozen. Idina stopped by to talk to Valentine in the Morning all about her second Christmas album "Christmas: A Season Of Love," Frozen 2, how she feels about other artists covering her songs from Frozen, and so much more!
Frozen 2 is playing in theaters everywhere and Disney made fans wait quite some time before we got this sequel, 6 years to be exact. This new film still follows the journey of Elsa and her sister Anna as they embark on a new adventure away from Arendelle with Kristoff, Olaf, and Sven by their sides. If you have little one's that love the original film, Idina thought she needed to give parents some tips before taking their kids to see the second film.
"We feel like we need to tell a little disclaimer because it's a little scarier. They kind of matured the movie with the first audience and there's some sad stuff in it too just so you can do ear muffs or have a talk with them. It's honestly a beautiful movie and i'm so proud of it. They didn't just pump it out to have a sequel and make money, they waited 6 years so they really waited until a story informed them and felt compelled to tell the story. Thankfully, it's the story of Elsa and how she got her powers so that gave me a big part. It sticks with the two sisters and their loyalty for one another and really about their love for each other. It's still not contingent on a man's love and all about the prince charming coming in and saving the day. It's totally a great message."
Idina just released her second Christmas album "Christmas: A Season Of Love" and it features 18 tracks including 2 original songs. The album also has a few people featured on it including Ariana Grande, Josh Gad (Olaf from Frozen), Billy Porter, and her husband Aaron Lohr.
"I called it 'A Season Of Love' because my very first professional job was in the original cast of Rent on Broadway and one of the famous songs from the show is 'Seasons of Love," which never occurred to me that it was this amazing holiday song. It's always been within the body of the show and I didn't think of it that way so I wanted to pay tribute to sort of where I got my start. I also love singing old big band kind of music so I wanted to do a holiday album where I could explore all that kind of music. I have an original song on there called 'At This Table' and that's really important to me because it's all about inclusivity and acceptance and forgiveness...that was important to me. Ariana Grande was so generous and she sang a duet with me. She sang the only other original song on the album that's called 'A Hand For Mrs. Clause' it's written by the people who did all of the Frozen music. There's something for everyone on this album and i'm really excited about it."
Whenever a Disney animated movie comes out there's always that iconic song in it for example, "Let It Go" from Frozen or "How Far I'll Go" from Moana. Well, there's always a pop version of the song that's covered by a big pop artist like Demi Lovato or Alessia Cara, which gets played on the radio. Everyone has their own preference about hearing the original version or the pop version and Idina shared her opinion on this.
"I think they're trying to get different demographics, but I don't like it if i'm being honest. I love Demi Lovato and I think she did an amazing job and I love Brendon Urie, but it is annoying. People see the song in the context of the film and the emotional connection that the characters are going through and I don't know it feels like forcing. I shouldn't be saying this Disney will probably fire me and I know i'm in my 40's, but it's not like girls don't listen to my music, my demographic is weirdly young so let me do the pop version of it. It doesn't make any sense. Panic! At The Disco is singing my new big song "Into The Unknown" and Weezer, which is so weird. It's all good, if it brings new people in and i'm happy for the people that wrote it because I love them and they are life family to me and the more hits they get and the more people that hear their music then that's okay."
The Broadway show Wicked just celebrated their 16th year and Idina was the very first Elphaba in the hit show. Last year, Idina was part of A Very Wicked Halloween: Celebrating 15 Years on Broadway on NBC. If you've never seen Wicked, it's the Wizard of Oz's untold stories of the Wicked Witch of the West and Galinda the Good Witch. Well the Broadway show is being turned into a movie and is expected to release in 2021. It would be a dream to see Idina reprise her role as Elphaba in the movie and Idina had a lot to say about it.
"Marc Platt, the producer of Wicked who's doing the movie, wants to recast with much younger girls. That's the reasoning I give him like really you can't use technology and do an Avatar version of me. Green face and take out a couple of my smile lines. Of course I would do it and people like De Niro and Joe Pesci, they're made younger why can't I play my role?! I'm not 22 and it would be so special, but no it's not going to happen.