April 3, 2014 at 10:28 AM ET
Idina Menzel has already talked about how she's forgiven John Travolta for mispronouncing her name at the Oscars. But that doesn't mean the moment didn't throw the Broadway veteran — it did. For a full eight seconds.
"I had done this whole preparation to make sure that I really was in my body and didn't get too nervous," she said on TODAY Thursday, referring to her last moments before taking the stage that night to sing "Let it Go" from "Frozen."
"So I was picturing my (4-year-old) son Walker, I thought, 'Let me just sing it to him' like we do in the bathtub ... and (Travolta) said my name like that and I was like, 'Did that just happen?'" Menzel recalled. "Then the orchestra started and then for eight seconds, I said, 'Get your s--- together! And like, stop worrying about your name and sing this song!' ... So it took me about eight seconds to get over myself."
That's the actions of a pro, and Menzel, who's had a recurring role on "Glee" and won a Tony for her role in "Wicked," is the very essence of a seasoned professional. Yet she's having one of the biggest moments of her career right now, topping the Billboard charts with "Let it Go" and inspiring numerous loving parodies of the song.
She told TODAY's Tamron Hall that the whole "phenomenon" of the song's success was a surprise, and answered some questions from fans.
These days, Menzel is starring in a more grown-up theater production, the new Broadway musical "If/Then," which she said is about a woman who "gets to start her life over." (She even performed songs from the show, "Learn to Live Without" and "Here I Go," on TODAY.) But thanks to "Frozen," Menzel's fans will no doubt skew very young for a long time to come.
"The fact that ("Let it Go") just connects with with all these young kids makes it more wonderful," she said. "That's good for a 42-year-old woman to have a demographic of, you know, 5-year-olds. 'Cause then, when I'm 80, maybe they'll bring their kids to see me. and I'll still have a job."
"If/Then" is currently playing at the Richard Rogers Theater in New York City.