Cynthia Erivo, Ariana Grande cry over 'Wicked' characters

Cynthia Erivo plays Elphaba in "Wicked." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI
1 of 5 | Cynthia Erivo plays Elphaba in "Wicked." File Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI | License Photo

May 13 (UPI) -- Universal Pictures released a new featurette for Wicked on Monday. The first of two films based on the Broadway musical, inspired by The Wizard of Oz, opens Nov. 27.

Cynthia Erivo, who plays the role of "Wicked Witch of the West" Elphaba, teared up talking about her journey to the film. She recalled seeing the Broadway production when she was 25, and the clip includes her audition footage and Zoom with director Jon M. Chu.


"It's been a really long journey and I'm grateful for it," Erivo says through tears.

Co-star Ariana Grande has also had Wicked in her life. She saw the Broadway production at 10, and in an interview as a young performer, she told a reporter it was her dream to play Glinda, the good which.

Grande also cried when Chu gave her the role via Zoom.

"I love her so much," Grande said. "I'm going to take such good care of her. Thank you so much."


Chu, director of Step Up 2 the Streets, Step Up 3D and In the Heights, also said Wicked was his dream musical to adapt for film.

The musical tells of the friendship between the witches of Oz before the events of the L. Frank Baum books. Elphaba is ostracized for her green face and driven to wickedness.

NBC is airing a behind-the-scenes special on Wicked on Nov. 26. The second film is coming Nov. 26, 2025.

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