×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Frozen II’ Stars Perform Their Audition Songs, From The Lumineers to ‘Ragtime’ (Watch)

Yes, even “Wicked” phenom Idina Menzel had to do a table read before signing on to the original “Frozen.”

Menzel told Variety‘s Marc Malkin at the premiere of “Frozen II” that while she didn’t have to go through what could strictly be called an “audition,” she still had to do a read through and sing a duet with Kristen Bell before everything was set in stone.

“We had to sing a duet, but they didn’t have songs written yet, so they asked us to come up with something. It was Kristen’s idea to sing ‘Wind Beneath My Wings’ as a duet because it felt very sisterly,” she said outside Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre.

With that, Menzel broke into “Did you ever know that you’re my hero,” the first lines from the chorus of the 1982 song, which topped the charts in 1989 when Bette Midler sang it for the soundtrack to “Beaches.”

Like Menzel, fellow “Frozen II” stars Sterling K. Brown and Evan Rachel Wood had to “sing for [their] bread,” as Brown put it.

“I met with [‘Frozen II’ co-directors] Chris Ruck and Jennifer Lee, and they told me they were adding this character Lieutenant Mattias, and so they wanted to know — gauge my interest, they pitched me on it,” Brown explained. “They said they were going to pitch a few other people. And then I had to come back two weeks later and sing.”

Brown’s audition song of choice? “Wheels of a Dream,” from the musical “Ragtime.”

He quickly cut himself off partway through, insisting the song was too long to finish.

According to Brown’s fellow “This Is Us” actress and wife Ryan Michelle Bathe, however, “come to our house and you’ll hear it all the time.”

“Westworld” star Wood said she was asked to sing a “non-Disney song in the style of Disney, so I think I sang like a Lumineers song or something.”

After some coaxing, Wood held forth with “Angela,” by the aforementioned indie folk rock band, sounding — as promised — like something out of “Sleeping Beauty.”

“Frozen II” hits theaters Nov. 22.

More Film

  • Film director and scriptwriter Vojtech Jasny

    Vojtech Jasny, Award-Winning Czech Filmmaker, Dies at 93

    Czech filmmaker Vojtech Jasny, director of “All My Good Countrymen,” which won the best director prize at Cannes in 1969, has died. He was 93. According to the Associated Press, Slovacke divadlo, a theatre he frequently visited, said that Jasny died Friday, and a family representative confirmed his death to the CTK news agency. Jasny [...]

  • Noelle Anna Kendrick

    Film Review: 'Noelle' on Disney Plus

    What do you get when you toss together Christmas cheer, Christmas kitsch, a fish-out-of-the-North-Pole setup swiped from “Elf,” and a plot that turns on whether Kris Kringle’s daughter, played as a perky naïf by Anna Kendrick, has what it takes to step into her dad’s snow boots? You get a plastic icicle like “Noelle,” Long [...]

  • Scandalous

    Film Review: 'Scandalous: The Untold Story of the National Enquirer'

    When grocery store shoppers snag a copy of Weekly World News (the rag responsible for the refuses-to-die “Bat Child” hoax), they know they’re getting fake news. But when they pick up the National Enquirer, it’s a far more ambiguous prospect. Enquirer headlines are deliberately provocative, shouting details of the private lives of real people — [...]

  • Cynthia Erivo

    Cynthia Erivo Almost Gave Up Singing to Become a Spinal Surgeon

    Before Cynthia Erivo went on to become a Tony and Grammy winner, she nearly gave up singing to be a spinal surgeon. In her “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors” conversation with Alfre Woodard, the “Harriet” star said she had been singing since she was toddler. Her mother noticed she’d hum while eating her food when [...]

  • Alfre Woodard Cynthia Erivo Variety Actors

    How Cynthia Erivo and Alfre Woodard Found Deeper Meaning in ‘Harriet’ and ‘Clemency’

    Cynthia Erivo (“Harriet”) and Alfre Woodard (“Clemency”) sat down for a chat for “Variety Studio: Actors on Actors.” For more, click here. Cynthia Erivo and Alfre Woodard are at the forefront of this year’s awards conversation for two prestige films directed by black women. In Chinonye Chukwu’s “Clemency,” a movie that won the Sundance Grand [...]

  • Rocketman Taron Egerton

    'Rocketman' Hair and Make-Up Artist Talks Transforming Taron Egerton

    Hair and make-up artist Lizzie Yianni-Georgiou sums up “Rocketman” as the story “of a great icon who hits rock bottom. You see the great things happen and he hits rock bottom. By the end, he’s pulled himself together and he’s still standing.” For the viewer, it’s a rollercoaster ride of emotion, but as Yianni-Georgiou says, [...]

  • FORD V. FERRARI

    Box Office: 'Ford v Ferrari' Dashing to No. 1 While 'Charlie's Angels' Flounders

    Christian Bale and Matt Damon’s racing drama “Ford v Ferrari” is set to win the weekend box office by a long shot with an esimated $29 million from 3,528 domestic locations. Elizabeth Banks’ “Charlie’s Angels” reboot could land in a distant second in its debut weekend with about $8.2 million, but the second frame of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content