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Wicked Alum Kristin Chenoweth Explains Why Ariana Grande Is The Right Person To Play Glinda In The Film Adaptation

Kristin Chenoweth in For Good YouTube reunion video and Ariana Grande in Positions music video
(Image credit: Wicked The Musical/Universal Music Group/YouTube)

One of Broadway’s most popular and beloved modern musicals is Wicked and finally after years of development behind the scenes Glinda and Elphaba are set to hit the big screen in the near future with Jon M. Chu’s movie version. Back in November, pop singer Ariana Grande was cast as Glinda the Good Witch alongside Cynthia Erivo’s Elphaba. Following the casting, the original Glinda is sharing why she’s totally on board with Grande in the role. 

Ariana Grande has been a divisive choice among Wicked fans, most likely because she is not an actress and has a particular brand as a singer that may be hard to shake. But, Kristin Chenoweth made a solid argument as to why Grande is a great pick for the role. In Chenoweth’s words: 

I love her so much; I've known her since she was 10. I think that crown and wand are going to the exact correct person, and I think she's gonna nail it. … Maybe some people do know this about Ari, but she’s really, really funny. And Glinda has to do funny and drama, she has to do it all. And sing high and sing low. And so, there's the girl. I did cry when she got it.

While on Today, Chenoweth gushed about Ariana Grande taking on the role for the movie, sharing that she’s known her for some time and can tell she’s going to “nail” it. Chenoweth and Grande first crossed paths when Chenoweth was playing Glinda on Broadway in 2003. A young Grande and her grandmother came backstage to meet her and apparently Grande sang for Chenoweth. The actress/singer gave Grande a replica wand from the show and told her to “follow your passion” and they’ve since remained in touch. 

It’s no wonder Chenoweth cried when Ariana Grande nabbed the role, it all started when she was Glinda on Broadway and she’s been able to follow her journey from the beginning. The pair have since worked together on 2016’s Hairspray Live and Chenoweth was a guest voice coach for Grande on The Voice last season. Check out the pair talk about it: 

Wicked is expected to begin production this summer but before then there’s still a number of roles the movie needs to cast. We’ve seen a casting call for real wheelchair users for the part of Nessa and Cynthia Erivo has hinted that her and Grande are already working closely together ahead of playing the lead roles. 

Kristen Chenoweth and Idina Menzel debuted the roles on Broadway almost a decade ago before the musical was nominarted for 10 Tony Awards, including Best Musical. Wicked continues to be a Broadway mainstay, with the first Black Glinda recently debuting in NYC. We’ll keep you posted as the Wicked movie continues to move forward as one of Hollywood’s upcoming movies to look forward to.  

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