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Josh Gad: We need escapism now more than ever

Hollywood actor Josh Gad’s new starrer “Artemis Fowl” will get a digital premiere instead of a theatrical release amid the Covid-19 crisis. Although Gad says he is a big fan of the whole moviegoing experience, he adds that it should not come at the stake of anyone’s health.

The actor feels there is a need for stories through which people can escape “the craziness” that has come with the pandemic, and that is something the digital world is busy doing.

“Well, nobody is a bigger fan of the moviegoing experience than me. I love sitting in a dark theatre with an audience and going on an emotional roller coaster, sharing those laughs, sharing those gasps, all of it. Unfortunately, we find ourselves in an unprecedented moment where going to a theatre means potentially risking your health,” Josh Gad told IANS in an interview.

“And that’s not a reality that any of us could have imagined. I do know that one day, we are all going to be able to go to the cinema again. And I can’t wait for that day.”

“In the interim, I, not only as somebody who worked very hard to bring this movie to life, but also as the father of two kids, am beyond grateful that movies like ‘Artemis Fowl’ are finding a home at (people’s) home. You know, now more than ever, we need escapism. We need entertainment. We need a chance to not think about the craziness that we are surrounded by,” Josh Gad added.

The actor continued: “So knowing that I can sit in my house and watch a movie like this with my kids makes me profoundly grateful and excited because without it, we would run out of content pretty quick… I think that there’s a healthy balance and I’m really excited that movies like ‘Artemis Fowl’ are going to find an audience that wasn’t necessarily intended to be the immediate audience but I think will be a grateful audience nevertheless.”

Disney’s “Artemis Fowl” brings alive the world of the book by Eoin Colfer, taking the audience on a fantastical adventure into the magical world of fairies, dwarves, and centaurs. It narrates the story of a 12-year-old genius, Artemis Fowl, a descendant of a long line of criminal masterminds, as he goes on a mission to save his father who has been kidnapped. In the movie, Gad will be seen as the giant dwarf Mulch Diggums.

With the movie, Gad got to work with actor-filmmaker Kenneth Branagh for the second time — which he describes as the highlight of his career.

“Working with Kenneth has been one of the highlights of my life’s career. I literally studied Ken’s work in college, when we were studying Shakespeare over the course of two semesters in my sophomore year. That process began with watching Ken’s ‘Henry V’ and on ‘Hamlet’, so getting to work with him on two consecutive films was beyond a dream come true,” said Gad, who has made a name in Hollywood as an actor, comedian and singer.

“On ‘Murder On The Orient Express’, I had Ken who was both in front of the camera and behind the camera, which obviously is a very different experience than one who is just behind the camera. Both films are totally completely different. On ‘…Orient Express’, there were so many moving parts and so many different people coming in and out. It was a bit more hectic and there was a lot more to get through, and so less time to improvise,” he said.

The actor, popular for voicing the beloved snowman Olaf in mega-hit “Frozen”, stressed that “Artemis Fowl” was a “completely different ballgame”.

“Ken just unleashed me, and really let me play every day on set. He’s one of the greatest collaborators ever because he himself is an actor, and so he understands what an actor needs to be communicated in order to execute a direction that will yield the kind of result that they’re looking for. I have worked with him twice now and I would welcome a third chance,” said the actor.

“Artemis Fowl” also stars Ferdia Shaw, Lara McDonnell, Tamara Smart, Nonso Anozie, Josh McGuire, Nikesh Patel and Adrian Scarborough, with Colin Farrell and Judi Dench. The movie will release on June 12 on Disney+ Hotstar.

–IANS, Sugandha Rawal



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