The Cinderella actress, 50, recalled how it briefly threw her off when Travolta mispronounced her name while introducing her performance of Frozen‘s “Let It Go” at the 2014 Oscars.
When asked by James Corden on The Late Late Show‘s Carpool Karaoke what it was like performing at the award ceremony, Menzel said her night was made in the “eight seconds after he screwed up my name.”
“I had eight seconds to say to myself, first, I felt really sorry for myself,” she said. “And then eight seconds the band starts, I was like, ‘Get yourself together, stop worrying that he messed up your name, sing b—-.'”
Her Cinderella costar, Billy Porter, who was in the car alongside Corden, Menzel and Camila Cabello, interrupted to say, “Sing! And you did! I was watching.”
“I was so nervous, I had meditated on this moment, I was going to sing to my son to really bring perspective to everything and then that happened,” she said, laughing.
Menzel added, “It was the greatest thing that ever happened. He’s written so many nice, apologetic emails. He’s so kind. To make up for it, he would just fly wherever at this point, he’s so sweet. I just always say, ‘No worries because it was the best thing that ever happened!'”
At the time, Travolta pronounced Menzel’s name onstage as “Adele Dazeem,” causing confusion among audiences watching but also introducing the Broadway star to a new viewership that had previously been unfamiliar with her work such as in Rent and Wicked.
Travolta spoke out after his flub, saying in a statement, “I’ve been beating myself up all day. Then I thought, what would Idina Menzel say? She’d say, let it go, let it go!”
He added, “Idina is incredibly talented and I am so happy Frozen took home two Oscars Sunday night!”
Menzel went on to perform “Into the Unknown” from Frozen 2 at the 2020 Academy Awards. The star teased Travolta before the ceremony on Twitter.
“When I was a little girl, I dreamed of moments like these,” she wrote online about the singing announcement, adding, “Who is brave enough to introduce me?”
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Idina Menzel Says Travolta’s Name Flub was Best Thing. Idina Menzel Says Travolta’s Name Flub was Best Thing