Cynthia Erivo Is Doing Her Own Stunts as Elphaba in the Wicked Films...While Singing Live | Playbill

Video Cynthia Erivo Is Doing Her Own Stunts as Elphaba in the Wicked Films...While Singing Live

The star of Jon M. Chu's two-part film adaption of the Broadway musical described her experience embodying Elphaba on set in an interview on The Today Show.

As many eagerly-waiting Wicked fans have already known, the upcoming two-part film adaption of Wicked will feature live singing from its stars, including Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba, opposite Ariana Grande as Glinda. But Erivo also reveals in a December 19 interview with The Today Show that throughout all the live vocals, the two-time Academy Award nominee and Tony winner will also be performing her own stunts in the adaption of the long-running Broadway hit.

"When I walk into a project I want to know that I care...that requires being focused and breathing and letting fear pass by," she shares in the interview. She describes stepping into the Wicked witch's shoes as the role of a lifetime. "It's very exciting, and fun, and wild, and heart-wrenching," she says. 

Erivo and Grande will be joined on screen by West End Company Olivier winner and Bridgerton star Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero, and SpongeBob SquarePants star Ethan Slater as Boq.

Also in the cast are 2023 Oscar winner Michelle Yeoh as Madame Morrible, Jeff Goldblum as The Wizard, and newcomer Marissa Bode as Nessarose, the first wheelchair-using actor in the musical's history to take on the role. Stage and screen star Keala Settle, SNL's Bowen Yang, Bronwyn James, Aaron Teoh, and Colin Michael Carmichael will play roles new to the musical's screen version, with Settle as Miss Coddle, Carmichael as Professor Nikidik, and Yang, James, and Teoh as Shiz students Pfannee, ShenShen, and Avaric, respectively. Yang recently revealed in an appearance on Bravo's Watch What Happens Live that the role of Doctor Dillamond has not yet been cast, with a puppeteer filling in during filming.

READ: Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande Share First Glimpses of Their Elphaba and Glinda From Wicked Movie Musicals

The screen adaptation is being helmed by In the Heights screen director Jon M. Chu. Wicked book writer Winnie Holzman has penned the screenplay, and Tony winner Paul Tazewell is designing costumes.

Wicked, injecting a new backstory onto the classic tale The Wizard of Oz, debuted on Broadway in 2003 and continues to be an audience favorite at the Gershwin Theatre. Based on the novel by Gregory Maguire, the musical features music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz and a book by Winnie Holzman. The original cast included Tony winners Idina Menzel and Kristin Chenoweth as Elphaba and Glinda, respectively. The musical has subsequently been performed in more than 100 cities across 16 countries, and, in April, surpassed Cats to become the fourth longest-running production in Broadway history.

READ: "My Heart Broke Open": Cynthia Erivo Shares Thoughts on Playing Elphaba in Wicked Films

The show won 2004 Tony Awards for Best Actress in a Musical (Menzel), Best Costume Design (Susan Hilferty), and Best Scenic Design (Eugene Lee).

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