Kristin Chenoweth Strikes Again!
The award-winning superstar discusses her new movie, You Again, and her continuing turn in Broadway's Promises, Promises.
THEATERMANIA: What was it about Georgia that made you want to play her?
KRISTIN CHENOWETH: They came to me with the idea of this part, which was not really written, and told me I could be fun, Southern, a little outrageous, and I thought it was right up my alley. Believe me, I have run across people like Georgia in the South. They really incorporated me into the script -- I think they even said whatever you want to do is fine and that can be dangerous -- and I got some good ad-libs. And my entrance is this huge dance number. I love it.
TM: Have you been to a lot of weddings in your life?
KC: Oh my, I have not just been to a lot -- I have been in a lot of them. I have been a bridesmaid so many times; I've sung at every relative's wedding; I've sung at the kids of my teachers' weddings so I could get a better grade. I could have retired by now if I charged then what I charge now to do concerts.
TM: Did it make you think about what your own wedding might be like if you ever have one? And what you would wear?
KC: I think if I had a wedding, it would be small and intimate with my nearest and dearest; not some big shebang like in the movie. And I would coordinate myself; I wouldn't do the Georgia thing. As for the dress, I'd like to say simple and classic, but I might end up doing a short dress. I love the work of Reem Acra and Vera Wang. And Matthew Christopher, who made me the blue dress for this year's Emmys that got me on a lot of best dressed lists, also designs wedding dresses, so maybe I'd have him make me one. Or maybe I would just wear the blue dress. Who knows?
TM: There are so many other great women in the cast of You Again. Was there a lot of divaness on the set?
KC: No, I loved being on this set; everyone wanted everyone else to do great, and that's how I believe in working. Kristen Bell is like my little sister; I feel like we're somehow separated at birth by about 10 years. Jamie Lee Curtis just wants to take care of everybody. Sigourney Weaver impressed all of us with her fabulousness. And Odette Yustman is the sweetest thing ever. Plus, I had Victor Garber, who is one of my best friends, to work with!
TM: And what about the legendary Betty White -- who beat you this year for the Outstanding Guest Star Emmy Award?
KC: She deserved it. I loved working with Betty; first of all, she is about my size! I have truly never worked with a more professional actress, and it's always refreshing to work with a non-diva who deserves to be a diva. It's a great lesson to all of us about how we should conduct ourselves as we keep acting. There's no need for diva tantrums.
KC: First, the producers were willing to work around my schedule -- I have to go film another episode of Glee; I'm performing at Walt Disney Hall on New Year's Eve -- and they did. Most of all, I just love Sean Hayes and I couldn't leave him. We came in together, and I feel like we have to leave together. It's also interesting -- I took this part to stretch and grow, and when I started, I wouldn't have thought Fran was the kind of role where I'd be negotiating to stay longer. Nine months is the longest I've done a show on Broadway since Wicked. But I feel like this side of me, being Fran, is something I not only needed to explore, but I still need to explore more. I am not done with her. And I am so in love with our cast. My heart is going to break when I have to say goodbye.
TM: Speaking of the cast, Molly Shannon takes over for your good friend Katie Finneran as Marge next month. What do you think about that?
KC: It was my idea, although the producers could have decided to go a different way. I'm very close to Molly, and I can't wait to see what she does with it. Personally, I think she is going to kick ass. She and Sean are also friendly, which is good. And Molly has never been on Broadway, so I think a role where you're only on for 10 minutes and can score is perfect for her first time.
TM: Would you ever want a part when you're only on stage for 10 minutes?
KC: No, I can barely do parts where I have to go on and off stage. It's one reason I loved doing The Apple Tree. To me, the show goes faster when I'm always, or at least usually, on stage. Backstage, I end up doing things like betting on Dick Latessa's horses. As for Marge specifically, it could be fun to do for one night.
TM: What can you tell us about your return toGlee?
KC: Not much. I haven't seen the script. I have no idea why April comes back and it doesn't matter to me how or why. All I know is I just want a scene with Jane Lynch!
KC: I am constantly shocked at the opportunities that come my way; and I am very grateful for what's happening next year. I will be touring for a new CD that I've been recording in Nashville -- I go down there on Sunday nights and then come back to do Promises on Tuesday. I am doing a pilot for a TV show that Ryan Murphy from Glee is writing just for me, and I am shooting a movie called Family Weekend in February. So yes, I'm always busy, but I think that's a good problem to have.