There’s been talk of a Wicked movie more or less since Idina Menzel first defied gravity as Elphaba on Broadway, but the Tony winner doesn’t think she’ll be the one playing the future Wicked Witch of the West when it hits the big screen.
During a conversation with theater and film producer Marc Platt on Tuesday as part of the Tribeca Film Festival’s Tribeca Talks series, Menzel joked she “probably won’t be” in the film once it’s made — though there might be one special-effects-assisted way to make it work.
“I’m gonna be way too old by the time [Platt] gets it done,” she said. “Unless he CGI’s it, and he knows how I feel about that — I really want him to do that.”
The talk also touched on her other Tony-nominated Broadway roles in Rent and If/Then, being part of the now-phenomenon that is Frozen, and what she learned from Lea Michele during her time playing Rachel Berry’s birth mom, Shelby Corcoran, on Glee.
Menzel explained that she’s still learning that singing on camera is different than singing on stage — you can’t open your mouth as wide with a camera close to your face, and took tips from Michele, “because she didn’t move her mouth that much but it looks real on the camera.”
Taking the role itself, she added, was “bittersweet,” in part because of when it came and what the part entailed.
“The gig came three months after I popped a baby out so I felt fat as all hell, and I was Lea Michele’s mom — like, could I just be her older sister? She wasn’t as young as she was playing [on the show] so it was like, really, I’m her mom? So it wasn’t good for my ego, I’ll be completely honest,” she said. “I was happy to be there and work with those people, but I had to get over myself a little bit.”
And when it came to Frozen, the audience still couldn’t “Let it Go.” When speaking about the ability to leave an emotionally demanding role on the stage, Menzel explained, “You’re in it, you feel all that stuff, and then you get off and you let it go.” She caught the inadvertent reference just as the audience did, making everyone laugh. “It’s so unfair! It’s just a very ordinary saying that we’ve all used a million times,” she said. “Now I can’t say it ever without having a funny response.”