Kristin Chenoweth on “Pushing Daisies,” Playing Dusty, and Christianity

TV and film has its challenges:

Pushing
Daisies
is one of the highlights of my career [and] certainly playing that
character…but my favorite thing is I do a lot of concerts with orchestras all
over the world and I love making music with an 80-piece orchestra behind me. I
also love bringing what it is that I do – which is a little bit of everything -
especially if you’re doing an opera, to try to make it relatable to people who
might not normally like opera.

I like to not be limited by myself by being in a role so I would have to say
the concert singing. It’s really what fulfills me the most. That being said, Broadway doesn’t suck. I
love it and I miss it. I miss it a lot. But I loved being on TV and I’ve loved
being in movies. Four Christmases was
so fun. All I care is that I keep getting a job. Beggars won’t be choosers.

Chenoweth with Reese Witherspoon in Four Christmases

Photo courtesy: New Line

As for the demise of the critically lauded/low rated demise of ABC’s Pushing Daisies, Chenoweth said she has
a hard time not crying when she thinks about the end of her Emmy-nominated role
as Olive Snook.

I’m doing okay. I’m extremely sad. I wish we could have had an
episode where we wrapped it up. I am very surprised that this was the show that
was [cancelled]…I understand that ratings weren’t what they’d hoped and I also
understand that it we’re a very expensive show to produce. I get it in my mind
but my heart has a harder time with it so I’m sad.

Any chance the last episode would wrap up the series to appease the die-hard
fans? "Our creator, Bryan Fuller, specifically asked if he could write an
episode to wrap everything else,” Chenoweth said, "and ABC specifically said
‘Don’t do that because you never know what’s going to happen.’"

We didn’t know
until recently that we were cancelled so we went ahead and shot an episode
thinking that it would be a possibility that we come back which is kind of a
bummer. This is not news, so I’m not breaking any secret here but Bryan has
talked about writing a movie version and wrapping things up and also keeping
and going ahead with the comic book version of it and even though that would
suck for [the actors] because we’re not comic book characters and can’t act
those out at least the fans will get closure and, to be honest, so would we.

Chenoweth as Pushing Daisies’ "Olive Snook"
Photo courtesy: ABC

When asked how she would fix network TV so inventive shows such as Pushing Daisies didn’t have to be
cancelled, Chenoweth was just as perplexed as the show’s fans.

One of the
things that I don’t think is working is this system of ratings. There are many
people who don’t even watch television. They watch an episode at work on their
computer [and] those numbers don’t get tallied. I know that DVR numbers are
very iffy. I know that they take like three weeks to get back the right number
and they’re still not sure. There’s gotta be a better system now than what that
is. I don’t know but it’s 2008 and its getting ready to be 2009 and really
awesome, special shows are being cancelled and I don’t think they have the
exact numbers correct. I don’t.

Spending time with several gay-related groups such as the Point Foundation as well as
proclaiming that “I love the gays,” Chenoweth said that she first demonstrated this affinity to befriending gays when she was in elementary school.

"About the fifth grade,” she said. “There was a girl named Jackie Bell, who
didn’t have many friends and I loved her. I just loved her. We were total
opposites, everybody would say things like dyke about her and of course
at that age I didn’t know what that word meant. I honestly didn’t. I was
extremely naïve but for whatever reason I just loved this girl and she was just
awesome and we stayed friends through high school and obviously I learned what
the word dyke meant.”

True to form, Chenoweth didn’t listen to her classmates when they warned her
about spending so much time with Jackie.

“I was doing the lead in the high
school musical and I needed someone to help dress me and Jackie was a backstage
hand, she was in the crew, and I said ‘Hey Jackie, can you help me change?’ and
everybody said to me, ‘You don’t want her to do that because she’s a dyke and
she’ll try something on you.’ And I said ‘No she won’t. She’s my friend.’ And
honest to goodness, Jackie was my friend, she helped me dress, we giggled and
laughed through the whole play."

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