Jerry Nunn: Hi, Kristin. I was born in Oklahoma like yourself. I suppose many people do not know that you have a Native American background.
Kristin Chenoweth: I think everyone from Oklahoma has some Native American blood! We do know I am part Native. I’m adopted, so it’s hard to know how much! [ Laughs ]
JN: My family later moved to Tennessee and Opryland was my first job. I heard you worked there.
KC: I loved working at Opryland and informed my folks I wouldn’t be heading back to Oklahoma City University to finish school. I was just going to stay in Nashville. They drove from Oklahoma to come pick me up! [ Laughs ] I loved the talent. All of the musicians were “live,” as compared to Disney, where a lot of performers, musicians are “canned.” I worked there after my sophomore year in college that summer.
JN: You are performing with Il Divo this December. Are you singing your Christmas songs?
KC: I LOVE IL DIVO! I have been fans for a while, so I’m thrilled to share the stage with them. They don’t hurt to look at, either. I will be singing a few duets with them and some of my Christmas songs from the album and a number I’m sort of known for.
JN: What went into your choices for picking tracks on your A Lovely Way to Spend Christmas CD [ released last year ] ?
KC: Jay Landers, my producer, gave me a lot of ideas. …. I definitely had some favorites, like “Do You Hear What I Hear?” Love it. And some surprises for me like the fun “Christmas Island.” It’s a record for everyone, no matter what you believe.
JN: You been in several Christmas movies, such as Deck the Halls and Four Christmases. Is it your favorite time of year?
KC: I do love Christmas. The best holiday ever, I think! The whole feeling of it … the spirit of what it means for our family is the birth of Jesus. So that’s what we celebrate. But I love that everyone likes it and gets involved usually. Why not?? At least everyone is in a decent mood until Dec. 26. [ Laughs ] I must have “Christmas” written across my forehead, [ because ] I’ve now done three Christmas movies and a Christmas album. Makes me happy…
JN: You even have a new Lifetime Channel movie coming out this December called Twelve Men Of Christmas.
KC: It is about a girl who takes a job in a tiny town, and she’s from New York and she’s nursing a broken heart. It’s a little bit Private Benjamin, which is why I thought it was fun. The guys were cute, too. Wow, that’s my second reference to cute men. Wonder where my mind is?
JN: I hope Santa isn’t listening. You were so amazing on the television show Glee. How was that experience?
KC: Glee was amazing. I loooved the cast and was thrilled to be asked. Honestly, I’d never gotten to play a part like that on TV. I get to come back and do another one. So excited and the cast is so talented…they inspire me.
JN: I spoke with Nora Dunn about the TV show Pushing Daisies. She told me it ended so abruptly she was on set in the mouth of a shark! Congrats on the Emmy!
KC: I was so disappointed I didn’t get to really work with Nora Dunn. I grew up watching her on Saturday Night Live . She is an idol of mine. I got shy though, and never told her, darnit. Pushing Daisies … another amazing experience. I loved playing Olive. I was shocked I won the Emmy, and sometimes I still can’t believe it cuz our show was cancelled by ABC. I am honored, truly, that they remembered us. I miss my character Olive everyday, and our cast.
JN: I heard you are coming back to Broadway in the spring of 2010 with Promises Promises. You get to work with Sean Hayes from Will & Grace.
KC: Promises “promises” to be a fun experience. But I took the part to really show another side to me on stage. This is a tough character, and one, honestly, I relate to on a personal level. I also love Burt Bacharach. I am so excited to get started with Sean and our director, Rob Ashford.
JN: Is there going to be a Wicked movie?
KC: Everyone always asks me about the Wicked movie. I know nothing about it. I hope they do it because the story is so special.
JN: You are so “Popular” with gay fans for being so involved with musicals. Any special thoughts for them?
KC: The gays … well, they’re my favorite people. I long for the day everyone, like me, can get married. I hope to see that soon. As far as my fans, I can look out at one of my audiences at a concert and see little girls, elderly people, and the gays. I love them all.
JN: You are in a new NBC show called Legally Mad?
KC: Regarding, Legally Mad, David Kelley’s show. It didn’t get picked up. What?? I don’t know anymore what makes some shows go, and others not. Don’t ask me because I do not know. I’m not a reality star, so I just hope scripted TV makes a huge comeback. Talent like David E. Kelley deserve it.
JN: And a new animated show called Sit Down, Shut Up?
KC: I love doing animated work. “Sit Down, Shut Up” is by Mitch Hurwitz. It was a no-brainer for me to do because he’s a genius. It’s a cool show because the background is “real location” but the ‘characters’ are animated. Love it!
JN: You are working on the film version of the life of Dusty Springfield?
KC: Ah Dusty … loved her, too. Not happy with a script yet, but we are working on it. She was so special, and had such a unique voice surrounded with a tough life. Just dying to show people the person behind the music.
JN: You have an official Web site to find updated information and to buy your music, correct?
KC: Yes go to my Web site, kristen-chenoweth.com . There’s also a fansite called “Glitter.”
JN: When are you coming to Chicago? We love you here!!!!
KC: The best audiences for me are Chicago, NYC and San Francisco. I always will come to Chicago ( as long as they keep asking ) ! I love the Peninsula! It’s the best hotel in the states!!!