The Pushing Daisies alum, 51 — who originated the role of Glinda in the Broadway musical in 2003 — told Us Weekly exclusively that the “Thank U Next” singer, 26, and the Descendants star, 23, have the chops to follow in her and Idina Menzel’s footsteps.
“I’ve been plugging for these two for a while. You know, it’s Ariana and Dove for me,” Chenoweth told Us when asked who she wants to see in the film adaptation of Wicked. “For sure, that’s who I think is fit for the role. Those two.”
The Tony winner — whose new studio album, For the Girls, will be released on September 27 — didn’t specify which singer she wants to star as which role, but fans have campaigned for Cameron to play Glinda and Grande to play Elphaba. Menzel, 48, who originated the role of Elphaba, won a Tony for the character in 2004.
Though Chenoweth is a fan of Grande and Cameron as the leads of the upcoming musical movie, she also has some alternatives in mind if casting decides to go in a different direction.
“It just depends on what age they cast,” she said. “If they go with someone in their 30s, I would say Lea Michele and Beth Behrs. It just depends on how they cast it. But, I mean, Dove and Ariana would just be amazing.”
The Emmy winner — whose new album includes a cover of Lesley Gore’s “You Don’t Own Me” with Grande — also opened up about her relationship with the “Break Up With Your Girlfriend, I’m Bored” singer.
“I just was so excited to sing with my little mentor, my little mentee,” Chenoweth told Us. “I’m older than her and I want her to remember the things I’ve tried to teach. … I’m learning from her. She’s teaching me a lot too. I think that’s the best part about a friendship, especially one separated by a couple of decades.”
As for what they taught each other specifically, Chenoweth said that she reminds the “7 Rings” singer to relax, while Grande advises the Broadway icon to “have fun” and “live in the moment.”
“We still need breaks. I’ve had to learn that lesson myself. I’m still learning it,” Chenoweth said. “I’m always here. That’s what I want her to know. I mean, that’s what she knows, actually, through the bad and the ugly. And I know that about her too for me.”
At the end of the day, Chenoweth is impressed by how Grande has navigated the spotlight at such a young age.
“I’m so proud of her, and I’m proud of all the kids I mentor ‘cause a lot of them are way more famous than me, and I am just proud of how they handle themselves and proud of how they , listen with both ears and speak with just one mouth,” she said. “I love that. I have a lot of kids I want to stay close with and be with because they’re our future, and I want them to soar.”
In February, Universal Pictures announced that a film adaptation of Wicked, a musical spinoff of The Wizard of Oz, will debut in theatres on December 21, 2021. Chenoweth starred in the Broadway musical from October 2003 to July 2004. She was nominated for a Tony for her role as Glinda the Good Witch in 2004.
Chenoweth will also return to the Broadway stage in celebration of For The Girls in a limited engagement November 8 – November 17, and she will star in the upcoming holiday film, A Christmas Love Story, on Hallmark Channel premiering December 7.
With reporting by Kayley Stumpe