"This heartbreaking moment is something I never shared publicly before because it was so personal," Josh Gad captioned his video of daughter Ava sobbing

By Jen Juneau
January 16, 2020 02:30 PM
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Josh Gad is opening up about a touching moment in his little girl’s life that would go on to inspire the journey of his character Olaf in Frozen 2.

Earlier this month, the 38-year-old actor posted a throwback video of his older daughter Ava Tanya, now 9, crying when she fully realized she wouldn’t be a child forever.

“But why will I not never be a kid anymore?” Ava asks sweetly, through her tears, to which her nanny Sara responds encouragingly while rubbing her hand, “You’re gonna be a kid for so long! You got lots and lots of time to be a kid. Lots and lots of time. You’re only 5!”

Ava, still sobbing, asks again, “But why will I never ever be a kid anymore when I’m a grown-up?”

“Well, because we grow up,” Sara tells her. “We’re not Peter Pan — only Peter Pan stays a kid forever and ever and ever. … So we have to become grown-ups, okay?”

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Josh Gad and family
Josh Gad/Instagram

Over the sounds of her younger sister Isabella Eve, who turns 6 next month, yelling about wanting to watch Peter Pan, Ava asks, “And you miss being a kid, too?”

“I sometimes miss being a kid, but I really like being a grown-up because I get to drive you to piano, like we did today. I get to play with you and Izzy. I get to go to the park.”

Gad gave a little background on the video in his caption, writing, “Four years ago, during dinner one night our beautiful little girl had a huge epiphany that shook her to her core … we all have to grow up. This heartbreaking moment is something I never shared publicly before because it was so personal.”

“Our nanny at the time, Sara, did such a remarkable job helping guide her through this difficult ‘coming of age’ moment and I constantly look back at it as a reminder of the fragility of youth and our struggle to make sense of our place in this rapid world,” he continued.

RELATED VIDEO: Josh Gad Says Olaf Comes Out at Home When He’s “Surrounded by the Love of My Little Ladies”

The Avenue 5 actor went on to recall that he shared the clip with “our brilliant Frozen 2 team at the time and said, I believe this should be Olaf’s journey in Frozen 2.”

In the movie, the snowman Gad helped make famous with his exuberant voice portrayal grapples with unavoidable change and the idea of growing up. His hilarious solo song, “When I Am Older,” even addresses this topic.

“I’m beyond grateful they felt the same way because growing up is so very hard and all of us have this moment at some point in our lives,” Gad continued. “I’m also beyond thankful that we were able to capture such a monumental moment and that I can share it now with all of you who either have children or were once children asking that very same question …’why do I have to be a grownup?’ Hope you take from it as much as I have.”

“As a side note, that is the voice of my other child in the [background] missing the plot completely and focusing instead on watching a DVD of ‘Peter Pan,’ ” joked the father of two.

Josh Gad (L); Frozen‘s Olaf
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty; Disney

Gad stopped by The View on Thursday, where he opened up to the hosts about the sweet, yet sad, video. (The clip on the show even included a funny additional line from Ava: “But when will I become a nanny?”)

“Every time I see it, I start crying,” said the former Book of Mormon star of the footage. “It’s one of those moments that I think we all have as a kid, where we’re, ‘Oh, we won’t be young forever.’ ”

The actor also revealed that he told the Frozen 2 story team, ” ‘I would love Olaf to sort of have this existential journey, where he’s starting to grow, he’s starting to mature and he’s starting to ask those questions of, “Why can’t things always stay the same? Why do they have to change?” ‘ ”

“And that’s just nannying at its best right there,” he praised. “Our old nanny, Sara, just did an amazing job of communicating those thoughts with her.”