Ariana Grande said she wanted to play Glinda in Wicked 8 years ago
Freshly minted Glinda actress Ariana Grande first cast a spell over the Broadway musical Wicked in 2013, when the singer-actress expressed her desire to play Glinda in the beloved tale in a resurfaced interview eight years before she joined director Jon M. Chu's movie adaptation alongside Oscar nominee Cynthia Erivo.
In the video below, KiddNation host Kidd Kraddick asked the former Nickelodeon star — who was on the verge of crossing over into the world of pop music at the time — which of the stage production's two lead roles she'd want to play, and Grande didn't hesitate as she answered "Glinda, for sure" before he finished his question.
She admitted that Elphaba's "singing part" would be "more fun," but she still felt the role of Glinda suited her better. The host then put her Wicked knowledge to the test, and challenged Grande to finish lyrical lines after he began singing them — a task she easily bested.
That year, Grande also went on to release "Popular" with recording artist MIKA, which samples the Wicked tune of the same name. She later performed a cover of Wicked's "The Wizard and I" during NBC's 15-year anniversary special in 2018.
The long-gestating Wicked movie received a highly anticipated production update in 2020, when original composer Stephen Schwartz told EW that "progress was being made" before the coronavirus pandemic delayed work on the film. Schwartz and book writer Winnie Holzmann collaborated on adapting the stage show's screenplay for the movie, for which Crazy Rich Asians helmer Chu signed on to direct last year. According to Universal, production is set to start in the summer of 2022 in the United Kingdom.
A prequel to The Wizard of Oz, Wicked follows the witches of the fantastical realm of Oz, as Elphaba (Erivo) becomes the Wicked Witch of the West.
Watch Grande discuss playing Glinda in the interview above.
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