Tony Award-winner Idina Menzel has a lot to celebrate. She announced on Twitter she was engaged to her boyfriend Aaron Lohr on the same day she released her new album of original songs called ‘idina’. We talked to her about the album, the upcoming “Frozen” sequel, and her starring role in the TV remake of “Beaches.”
FOX411: What are some of the songs that reflect your life the last couple of years?
MENZEL: Well it's been kind of a very, I guess, turbulent, dynamic couple of years. While having the success of “Frozen” and having my career sort of catapulted in a new place, I had the juxtaposition of my personal life being, kind of, going through a divorce and all of the sadness and guilt and regret that comes with all of that. So I had these sort of two dueling sides in my life and it just gave me a great place to go in the studio and work from.
So there are songs about regret, but every time I tried to go in and write a song about hating life and being mad and angry I came out with a song that was like I can do this and I can make it. For whatever it's worth, somehow I always write a song about finding strength. And I wish I wouldn't, I wish I’d just write these horribly dark sad tortured songs, but it just comes out of me… there's one or two in there… and then there’s songs about new love and there's a song about my son.
FOX411: Does it amaze you how big the song “Let it Go” got, and do you get recognized by young fans?
MENZEL: “Frozen” is just like the gift that keeps on giving. I had no idea it would have the success that it has. The song is, people think you know, you'd get sick of a song like that, but you don't. When a song brings you that kind of success, but also connects you with an audience in such a profound way, when it really connects with young people, when it has a message like it has, I don't get tired of singing it. Usually there's some young person in front of me that's never seen me sing live and so I can sing it to them and keep it fresh. It’s introduced me to a whole new audience and it’s something I will always be grateful for.
FOX411: What do you know about the sequel?
MENZEL: I don’t know that much. I just know that we're all signed on to do it and I think that they're still in the story mode and maybe in a couple months we're going to get in there and they'll start needing us.
FOX411: What did you think of the “Give Elsa a Girlfriend” campaign?
MENZEL: I love it. I don't want anyone to get their hopes up. I'm just a servant, I'm a Disney servant, so I'm happy to have a gig with Disney, and I don't know what they will do, but I love that it at least is bringing on a conversation about it and that's all we can hope for.
FOX411: Tell us about “Beaches” and what it’s like taking on that role. Were you always a fan of the movie?
MENZEL: Always, loved it, saw it with my two best girlfriends cried our eyes out in high school. Bette Midler is one of my all-time favorites. She's a total idol of mine so, reason to say no a million times over. It's not like me to usually try to do any kind of remake, revival. One, because I like to originate things but two, because I don't like to follow in the footsteps of great women because then, you know, I set myself up for failure. But that being said after saying no a bunch of times I realized there's a whole young generation of people that have never even heard of “Beaches” and going back and watching the movie it's really cool to see this relationship between these two women and it's not often we have these projects that are just about friendship, just about two women, you know, it's like a love story in the most beautiful way. And it gives me an opportunity to really explore so many parts of who I am and what I do as a performer and so I'm taking the risk and, you know, hopefully won't have too many haters.
FOX411: Have you spoken to Bette Midler?
MENZEL: No, she was kind enough to tweet her blessing and that's good enough for me.
Fox News Entertainment Producer Ashley Dvorkin covers celebrity news, red carpets, TV, music, and movies. Dvorkin, winner of the 2011 CMA Media Achievement Award, is also host of "Fox 411 Country," "Star Traveler," "Fox 411 Big Screen," and "Fox on Reddit."