Josh Gad Talks Google, Na’vi, and Heavy Drinking

The actor (currently in The Internship, out today) and super nice guy chats about first jobs, tough breaks, and looking sexy.

The actor (currently in The Internship, out today) and super nice guy chats about first jobs, tough breaks, and looking sexy.

In The Internship you play “Headphones,” a character who doesn’t get a lot of screen time but is actually crucial to the plot. In real life, do you think you would make the cut at Google?

Absolutely not. Well, it depends. If the criteria is that you need to be technologically inclined, then no. If the criteria is that you need to test out all the food in the cafeteria, then yeah.

Were you ever an intern?

I interned at this local ad agency in Florida. They had heard that I’m this funny little kid and they brought me in to write copy on one of the clients they had called 1-800-Telemattress. It took two weeks to come up with the perfect slogan… at the time, Mad Men wasn’t on TV, so I didn’t realize you were supposed to present a bunch of different options. So I came in, and the guy goes, “alright, tell me what you’ve got,” and I said, “Okay, are you tired? Tele-mattress,” and he fired me.

Google is known for really weird and difficult interview questions. What is the strangest thing you ever had to do to get a job?

The strangest thing I ever had to do to get a job was to learn Na’vi for an audition for James Cameron for Avatar, and so I worked with this dialect coach that they had. I was living in New York at the time and they flew me out to L.A., and they bring me into this audition and this guy is literally drilling me in this made up language. Apparently I was so bad at it that I didn’t get the job. 

What’s your favorite project you’ve ever worked on?

Because of the blood, sweat, and tears poured into it, I would have to sayThe Book of Mormon. It was so part of my journey as an artist, I was involved with it from the very beginning for four years prior to it making its Broadway debut.

Aside from exhaustion, how do you compare being in a Broadway show to working in TV and film?

You’re working really hard for the least amount of money. It’s definitely not to advance your profit margin unless you’re doing a hit show and you’re a master star. But you really do it because of the love of the craft and you do it because you have this addiction to the audience. There’s nothing like the energy you get from a live audience.

Why should guys see plays?

Because if they don’t, they’re douches! Actually, it’s the biggest bang for your buck. When you go to a movie theater you’re literally sitting back and you’re being asked to veg out, eat popcorn, and maybe fall asleep. When you’re going to see live theater, you’re a part of it. So many dudes who came to see The Book of Mormon told me they were so surprised at what the live theater experience felt like, and that they would continue to see other things. People like Trey Parker and Matt Stone can bring in an audience that wouldn’t otherwise come to a theater.


What was the last thing you had to apologize for?

It was to my wife for trying to upgrade to business class to fly home from Bora Bora behind her back because I knew that she would never allow me to spend $1,000 on upgrades for tickets. She won that argument, but I still had to apologize. And I won’t forgive her soon for that.

What’s your favorite curse word or phrase?


What is the worst hangover that you have ever had?

Hangover 3. No, I’m kidding! I’m friends with those guys! It was in college. I was pre-gaming with my friend Rory, and I was like, “Let’s do a shot together,” and so we did a shot, and he was like, “I’m going to take a quick shower.” When he came back out, I had downed an entire bottle of vodka by myself. The next day, I was absolutely in the worst pain I have ever been.

What was your first car?

My first car was a silver Toyota Corolla that my parents surprised me with when I came home from a speech and debate trip. Yes, I was a speech and debater, and I have no shame in it.

How were you in speech and debate?

Well, funny you should mention, I was the three-time national champion. Not to toot my own horn, but yes, I am tooting my own horn.


Thank you. It means nothing now.

Do you have a scar that tells a story?

When I was a kid, I played a game of touch football that somehow ended up with me cracking my chin open. At the time I was told I was never going to be an athlete, and I stayed true to form. I don’t know how touch football ends with a split chin, but somehow that game did and it tells a story of how un-athletic I would become.

Do you have a party trick?

I could lie to you and say that I did, but I don’t think I do. Now that you brought it up, I’m going to develop one, because if I’m ever asked that question again I don’t want to be caught empty-handed.

Fair enough. What’s the biggest thing you’ve ever put in your mouth?

I was recently at a gay nightclub. And I got a sandwich. I went to Carnegie Deli and I got this sandwich called the Carmelo Anthony, which I found to be completely racist, and then I shoved this massive sandwich in my face. It was literally the biggest sandwich I’ve ever seen. It was the size of a coffee table.

What’s the one thing to remember in a fist fight?

The one thing to remember in this life?

In a fist fight.

Oh, in a fistfight. That’s a lot different from in this life. The one thing to remember in a fist fight is duck, I guess. And sucker-punch.

Who was the last person to see you naked?

Other than America when I did Love and other Drugs, my wife. And she does not have fond memories of it. That, I can assure you. 

Finish this sentence: If I ruled the world for a day, I would…

Bring peace and joy to every boy and girl. No, you know what I would do? I think that I would try to bring as much – and this isn’t to sound corny – but to bring as much joy and hope as possible to suffering people because I’ve just seen too much suffering in my life, and if I ruled the world for a day, I would try to change that. If only for one day.

Nice. Got anything else?

I know you can’t see it [since we’re on the phone], but I’m looking incredibly sexy now (or so my wife told me) because Axe has given me a full-on transformation for my premiere tonight of The Internship. With this kind of summer Neanderthal weather I was rocking that horrible hairdo, and the kind people at Axe felt really guilty for me and gave me a makeover. They used a little Axe pomade to transform me into a chubby man’s Jon Hamm and I’m feeling very good about it. It’s really a handsome makeover if I do say so myself.

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