Josh Gad (Beauty and the Beast, Frozen) brings incredible wit, humor and depth to his role of Bailey in Universal Pictures’ new inspiring drama A Dog’s Journey, the sequel to the heartwarming global blockbuster A Dog’s Purpose.
In the film, beloved dog Bailey finds his new destiny and forms an unbreakable bond that will lead him, and the people he loves, to places they never imagined.
Even though he embodies the voice and spirit of Bailey, Gad admits he wasn’t prepared for how he would react to the sequel’s screenplay. “I kept promising myself that there was no way I was going to allow myself to cry when I sat down to read the script for A Dog’s Journey,” he says. “Of course, immediately I was sobbing again. But what’s so incredible about the script and the movie—much like the first one—is although there are cathartic tears along the way, there’s also so much excitement. There’s so much adventure and laughter on this journey. I was blown away because I felt that the writers not only lived up to the first film, but in many ways set the bar even higher.”
When it came to filming the follow-up, Gad admits he naturally had trepidations. “There’s always hesitation when the opportunity arises to do a sequel, because you want to make sure that it’s for the right reasons,” he says. “Seeing the unbelievable amount of respect being paid to every single detail—from the filmmaking process to the script—has allowed me to lower my guard and realize that everybody wants to raise the bar; we all want to exceed what has already been established.”
Much like co-star Dennis Quaid, Gad is an avowed dog lover who lights up when he speaks about his rescue Dede, whom he calls a “mutt of craziness” and who serves as an integral part of his home. As the voice of Bailey, Gad appreciates the opportunity he has to help audiences move through feelings they have toward their pets…and their humanity.
“I can’t tell you how many times kids come up to me and say how unbelievably cathartic this movie was for them,” Gad says, “whether it’s losing a pet or losing a person in their lives. The greatest gift of being a part of this franchise is that these movies, while they are entertaining, are more than that. They offer, especially kids, an opportunity to deal with loss and to understand that the potential for a journey goes on long after our pets or loved ones leave this world.”
Director Gail Mancuso says, “Josh is so funny and adds such heart to Bailey. Not only is his performance comedic, it’s so heartfelt. He’s just perfect for it.”
In Philippine cinemas May 15, A Dog’s Journey is distributed in the Philippines by United International Pictures through Columbia Pictures.