Original Elphaba Idina Menzel has revealed her advice to Cynthia Erivo, who will play the role in the upcoming two-part film adaptation of Jon M. Chu’s Wicked.
“I praised her and she kind of asked me to be a part of it and be there. And I offered to be in her ear if she wanted to and give her some space because she doesn’t need my help to be completely honest,” Menzel told Weekly entertainment.
Menzel then tied her advice to the plot of her new children’s book, “Loud Mouse,” which she wrote with her sister, Cara Mentzel, which follows two mouse sisters. When one of the mice is afraid to use her big, beautiful voice, her sister’s support inspires her to embrace her talents.
“Always keep in mind what the whole story was about,” Menzel continued. “Similar to our book, it’s like not being afraid of what makes you beautiful and powerful. And if you stay true to that, then you’ll be true to Elphaba.”
Menzel wrote and released a new song inspired by the book. Listen now:
Idina Menzel won a Tony Award for originating the role of Elphaba in Wicked on Broadway in 2003. She starred in the series alongside Kristin Chenoweth, who was also nominated for a Tony Award for her performance.
Chenoweth previously revealed the advice she gave Ariana Grande, who will play Glinda in the new film adaptation, telling her to “find her own Glinda.” Chenoweth also campaigned to make an appearance in the film alongside Menzel.
Erivo and Grande will be joined by Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero in the upcoming film, directed by In the Heights director Jon M. Chu. The film is currently in rehearsal and principal photography is set to begin in November.
The film will be released in two parts, with the first part being released during the 2024 holiday season and the following part being released the following year.
Before Dorothy, before the flying house, and before the yellow brick road, there was Elphaba and Galinda. Born with emerald green skin, Elphaba is intelligent, feisty, misunderstood, and possesses extraordinary talent. When circumstances force him to cohabit with the bubbly and exceptionally popular blonde, Galinda, their initial rivalry turns into the most unlikely of friendships.
More information on the upcoming Wicked movie can be found here.
Idina Menzel rose to fame for her role as ‘Maureen’ in the popular Broadway musical RENT, and her career took off when she won a Tony Award for her role as ‘Elphaba, the Wicked Witch of the West’ in the hit musical, WICKED. Her voice can be heard as Elsa in Disney’s Frozen, which won an Oscar®, the second highest-grossing animated film of all time.
Menzel was also seen in Lifetime’s recent Beaches remake and Prime Video’s musical adaptation of Cinderella. She will be seen in the upcoming Disney+ movie Disenchanted.
Menzel was previously seen on Broadway in the original production IF/THEN, for which she earned her third Tony nomination. She also starred in the musical SEE WHAT I WANNA SEE by Michael John LaChiusa, directed by Ted Sperling at the Public Theatre. Other Off-Broadway credits include the pre-Broadway production of RENT and THE VAGINA MONOLOGUES.
Cynthia Erivo made her Broadway debut reprising her lead role as “Celie” in the critically acclaimed revival of “The Color Purple.” She first performed the role in 2013 at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London and her performance on Broadway won her several awards, including the Tony Award for Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Musical.