Cynthia Erivo ‘didn’t believe she’d be seen’ for role in Wicked movie

Cynthia Erivo trained “like (she) was a boxer” before her audition.

Cynthia Erivo didn’t think she would be given the opportunity to audition for the Wicked movie musical.

Despite having an Emmy, a Grammy and a Tony under her belt, the British actress didn’t think she would have a chance to try out for Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West.

“(I) honestly didn’t believe I’d be seen (for the role),” she told Vanity Fair. Once she got the call to audition, Erivo started “training like I was a boxer”.

The Widows actress was one of the last people brought in for Elphaba and her training paid off – director Jon M. Chu and producer Marc Platt were blown away by her vocals.

“(After she sang,) Marc and I looked at each other and we’re like, ‘We’re done,'” Chu recalled.

For Glinda the Good Witch, Ariana Grande was so determined to land the role that she kept pestering Platt for updates.

“It was literally 10 years of being like, ‘Knock, knock, any developments? Is there an audition coming this year, or next year? I would like to start preparing today,'” the pop star remembered.

She was equally keen when it came to the auditions, as Chu recounted, “Every time she came in to audition, she’d be there at least 30 minutes early. I’d see her car circling. I’d be like, ‘Who is that?’ ‘That’s Ariana Grande.’ ‘Why is she here so early?'”

Once they got to set, Erivo and Grande were so confident in their vocal performances that they pushed to sing live.

“When we were shooting it, those girls were like, ‘F**k the pre-records. We’re going live,'” the In the Heights director explained.

The first part of Wicked will be released in November, while the second part will debut in November 2025.

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