Like most people,
Then, in 2011, he signed on to
"I listened to stories involving people losing their loved ones, going bankrupt, landing in prison, getting life-changing diseases that are debilitating," he recalled, his voice grave. "It is one of the most disastrous addictions you can possibly imagine going through. And I think a movie like this is important because it humanizes it."
"Thanks for Sharing," out Sept. 20, follows three men (Gad,
"I think what's so beautiful about the character and the way it's written is the redemption. I love a challenge, and this is a very unlikable character when you first meet him. You hate him. You really need to go a long way to win the audience back over. That's what I responded to. It's why I did a role like Steve Wozniak," he adds of his summer release,
So did Pink ask for acting advice for her film debut? "Sure, here and there," Gad said of the musician-turned-actress. "But she really didn't need any. It was so unbelievably organic to her that I remember Mark, Tim and I all watching her do one scene and just going, 'Damn it, we're all gonna get shown up by this novice.'"
Indeed, many might consider Gad a seasoned Hollywood veteran at just 32. He all but burst onto the Broadway scene in productions of "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee" and "Book of Mormon." He took supporting film roles and had a brief TV stint on the
And he has several productions in the works, including a buddy comedy costarring
"This is the most relaxed I have felt in a while," he said last month, sitting in a lounge at the office of his publicist, who delivered the heavy-set actor a healthful lunch midinterview because he is following a nutritionist-designed diet. "But I've been very lucky. Every day I have breakfast with my daughter, dinner with my daughter and I get to put her to sleep at night and wake up with her. The second that is ever compromised, then I guarantee you will stop seeing my name come up in the trades."
Seeing his 2-year-old smile when she recognizes her father or his voice on screen, Gad says, has been particularly rewarding.
"We saw the preview for [the animated] 'Frozen' and she looks at it, and looks at me with this big smile on her face and goes: 'More Dada.'"