“When I took [oldest daughter Ava Tanya, now 5] to see Monsters University, it was her first movie in the theater,” funnyman Gad told PEOPLE at the world premiere of The Angry Birds Movie on Saturday in Los Angeles. “Then when she saw the preview for Frozen, I didn’t say a word. [My character Olaf] laughed. She heard my laugh. She looks at me, at 2, and goes, ‘Dada? More Dada?'”
“And I was like, ‘Are you kidding me?’ ” he adds. “At 2, I would have been like, ‘I want popcorn.’ I would have been an idiot.”
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Gad — who has been married to wife Ida Darvish since 2008 — is just as impressed by his second daughter Isabella Eve, who turned 2 in February and recently learned how to open doors in the house.
“She’s like a velociraptor, where she’s hitting milestones at such a fast pace,” the Beauty and the Beast actor, 34, jokes. “You know how the first time the raptor opens the door in Jurassic Park, you’re like, ‘All bets are off”? She started opening that door at six months. So we’re like the cast of Jurassic Park: ‘We need to create a barrier from this demon child and hope for the best.’ ”
But walking and talking are the least of Gad’s worries when it comes to Ava. She seems to have a stronger hold on him — and an uncanny way of getting out of trouble.
“My 5-year-old is at this new phase in her life where she’s lying, but making me believe that I’m the crazy one,” he says. “So she’s twisting my words. It’s crazy. I feel like I’m being hijacked by her. And I’ll sit there and get so angry at her at first, but then slowly, she gets me to blame myself. She’s just really manipulating me.”
— Raha Lewis