‘Frozen’ star bowled over by runaway success

Oscar-winning Idina Menzel, the star of the most successful animated film of all time, Frozen, has spoken about the film’s impact on her life, and the struggles of juggling career and family.

Frozen has grossed approximately $1bn (€800m) worldwide to date, and a singalong version returns this weekend to Irish cinemas for a limited time.

Menzel is the voice of Elsa and the singer behind ‘Let It Go’, the iconic theme song which has topped charts around the world.

The 43-year-old New York-born actress and singer-songwriter has also spoken of the newfound confidence the film has given her.

She’s a social media sensation and YouTube hits of the sing-along version of ‘Let It Go’ have topped 219m.

Menzel said recalls being a Disney fan as a child.

“I remember some of those classic Disney songs from movies, and you knew the character but you didn’t know the person behind the song,” she says.

“But this is different, this is weird. All the little girls love Elsa but they also want to meet me. I think that’s because of social media, and their parents say: ‘Watch this, this is the girl at the Oscars’.”

As a Broadway star of musical theatre for 20 years, she had an award-winning career long before being parachuted into the role of Elsa, the inspirational ice queen.

The film, an adaptation of Hans Christen Anderson’s fairytale, centres on the story of two princess sisters and, in typical fairytale fashion, love’s true kiss is needed to break a spell. However, in this instance, it turns out not to be a prince’s kiss that is needed, but one from a devoted sister.

“It’s women depending on each other; it’s a bond between them, not with a man,” says Menzel. “So often they pit us against each other, two powerful women. So it’s hard for people to believe that those two women would love and support each other.”

There are talks of plans for a Frozen sequel, and the possibility of a stage musical version.

In the meantime, Menzel is recording an album of Christmas songs and continuing to perform on stage in the musical that was written for her, If/Then, which runs until February.

The album is entitled Christmas Wishes and features ‘When You Wish Upon a Star’ and 'Silent Night'.

Being her fourth studio album, she admits to really enjoying the experience. “I just was in heaven,” she says. “It was a way to break up the monotony of doing the show every day at the theatre. I had fun and I didn’t over-listen to myself or second-guess myself.”

She also revealed some sadness in her personal life, having recently separated from her husband Taye Diggs and five-year-old Walker Nathaniel Diggs. Like all working mothers she sometimes struggles with juggling her career and being a mother.

“It’s hard. It was even when I wasn’t single,” she says. “Just being a working mom is so complicated, because we want our children to grow up seeing the best version of their mother. And the best version of their mother is going to be a woman that’s fulfilled and doing what she loves and teaching her children that they have to go after their own passions and dreams.”


Lifestyle

My sister Gabriella always says that during sibling whispers all I ever wanted was to be on stage.This Much I Know: Man of many talents Mike Hanrahan

Columnist and trained counsellor Fiona Caine offers guidance to a woman whose husband is controlling and belittling her.Ask a counsellor: ‘My husband is so controlling – what do I do?’

Peter Dowdall branches out to take a look at the mountain ash or rowan.Rowan berries show us how nature is stocking its larder for winter

More From The Irish Examiner