chops in five films, including The Pink Panther and Running with
Scissors; and belt out opera alongside Placido Domingo like a diva 10
times her size. Currently she's starring in the Christmas flick Deck the
Halls and appearing on Broadway in The Apple Tree. Did I mention
that she's working on her third CD?
there have been rough spots, too. Midseason, Chenoweth's friend and West
Wing costar John Spencer passed away unexpectedly. Being a Christian and
a supporter of the gay community has caused controversyshe was
criticized by gay fans for an April 2005 performance on The 700 Club,
a Christian talk show, then disinvited from a Women of Faith conference later
that year for being too politically "divisive." On top of that,
her on-again-off-again relationship with screenwriter and West Wing
creator Aaron Sorkin came to an end. But, rest assured, she can handle it.
Chenoweth may be 4'11" and 98 pounds, but you won't find a tougher Southern
girl in all of Hollywood.
a petite, big-chested blonde with a Betty Boop voice, are you routinely underestimated?
I love this questionbecause it's not just with men, it's women
too. It's hilarious when people realize that I actually have a brain. I have
a Master's and graduated with high honors. But I go to the bank and they treat
me like I'm 16. I mean, once, I was working on Broadway, helping with something,
and the dance captain said, "You're so smart!" I was, like, "It's
shocking, isn't it? Shocking!"
people say you would never make it in show business?
I had so many friends and family memberspeople who love mesay,
"You're so talented, but it's probably not gonna work out. You're tiny,
you have this unique speaking voice, you're not what they're looking for."
did you learn to stand up for yourself?
One of my challenges in life is not to keep it in when someone offends me.
I've had to learn to assert myself and to do it in a way I'm never ashamed
of. Now I'm learning to say, "Ya know what? That's not cool." I
find that respect comes by saying, "Don't treat me like that."
one of the themes of Wicked, the Broadway musical you helped make a
hit in 2003. Can you believe your role as Glinda inspired a fan club called
You know, if you'd told me 10 years ago that I'd be a role model, I'd have
laughed in your face. But I love the fact that young women look up to meI
love it! It's the highest compliment of all because women can be tricky; we
can be hard on each other. Not that I haven't been guilty of that too, by
saying, like, "That outfit is not what I would put on her!"
about men? Are they intimidated by you?
If you make more money than them, that's an issue. And I have so much going
on that I need a lot of compromise. I truly want to be able to give someone
everything, but I don't want to feel guilty for having to rehearse.
you involved with someone now?
Single. I broke up with a guy last December, went back for more, and broke
up again. Although it's the right thing, it's sad. Women mourn breakups. We
call our best friends, our momswe get it out. That's one reason
I love my girlfriendsthey listen, they offer advice, they care.
They're like, "If you're in a relationship and you have to go back 20
times, we still love you."
love advice to pass on?
My aunt Ginger gave me a piece of advice that I've lived by my whole life.
She said, "Marry somebody with your head, not with your heart."
And that sounds harsh. But for a lasting relationship, yeah, the heart will
be thereobviously, you have to be attracted to thembut
marry somebody with your head because that's the person you're going to be
with as you grow old. I didn't understand that when I was 17. Now, at my age,
I get it.
current film is Deck the Halls. So, Christmaslove
it or hate it?
It's my favorite holiday, my favorite time of year. There's no place better
than New York City at Christmas. And I'm such a cheese-meister, I have to
do it all: go see the Rockettes, the parade, the tree at Rockefeller Center,
the music. I get very protectiveand this is probably gonna make
some people madwhen I hear that some want to change "Merry
Christmas" to "Happy Holidays." The Coca-Cola can doesn't even
have Santa anymore; it has a polar bear. I mean, if you want to put out a
Coke that says "Happy Hannukah," go for itI love that!
But let us say "Merry Christmas," for goodness' sake.
described yourself as a controversial Christian. Why is that?
It's very true. I was actually fired from a job for my beliefs on gay rights.
Also, my ex-boyfriend is Jewish, and my best friend is gay. And the FHM
pictures [a shot of her in a pink bikini graced the cover of the men's magazine
in March] sent people through the roof! But I made a decision, I backed that
decision, and I'm not ashamed one bit. I'm very proud of the interview and
those picturesthey weren't nude, I wasn't crawling toward the
camera with my tongue out, and most of the bikinis were mine! Just because
you're a Christian doesn't mean you can't feel sexy. But there are going to
be Christians who think, "You can't call yourself a Christian and believe
A, B, and C." Well, I do, I am. I can't be Hester Prynne.
how do you deal with stress?
Working out is a big one, because it releases all that crap! Three times a
week my trainer, Mike Alexanderwho got Jessica Simpson in shapehas
me circuit training and doing cardio. I have boobs and a short torso, so I
have to keep my core as thin as possible. But, even at my thinnest, I always
have a little bit of a belly, so we work on that a lot. He's also a sounding
boardI find myself telling him things I wouldn't even tell a
boyfriend or a parent.
did you handle the loss of John Spencer?
We were really close, so it smacked me hard. But it was a reminder that no
matter how great things are going...we're here such a short time. John's death
taught me to live each day as if it's your last.