Kristin Chenoweth: Miss Congeniality
- Tuesday, June 07, 2005
It’s not always easy to be gracious and stick to your convictions in an often cut-throat city like Los Angeles. But even as her profile continues to rise, Kristin Chenoweth refuses to lower her standards in the process. Now in an exclusive from the set of NBC’s “The West Wing,” Kristin reveals how she keeps her faith intact, divulges what her co-star Nicole Kidman was really like on the set of “Bewitched” and provides the skinny on her new CD, "Just As I Am."
Sure, the notion of organized chaos may seem like an oxymoron, but it’s actually the perfect way to describe the set of “The West Wing” on this particular Thursday evening taping in Anaheim. With professional hockey on hiatus, The Mighty Ducks’ home ice, “The Pond,” was transformed into the site of the Democratic National Convention for the weekly show’s latest storyline.
While flag-waving extras dressed in head-to-toe red, white and blue patriotic attire were carted in and out of the premises, crew members barked out instructions in anticipation of that perfect shot. Meanwhile in front of the building, security also ran a tight ship and scurried about with multiple cell phones in tow, while the on-call nurse dutifully administered aspirin and cough drops to those feeling a little under the weather. Even when the pace was at its most frenetic during a key scene with the cast later that evening, there was a cadence to the chaos — the excitement of showbiz was executed with painstaking precision.
And in a small trailer just a few feet from all the action was one of “The West Wing’s” newest players, Kristin Chenoweth, who portrays a forward-thinking media consultant named Annabeth Schott alongside the likes of Alan Alda ("The Aviator", “MASH”), Stockard Channing ("Le Divorce", "Grease"), Allison Janney ("How to Deal", "The Hours") and Martin Sheen ("Catch Me if You Can", "Spawn").
Like J.Lo and Jay-Z, Kristin has that enviable, multi-hyphenate resumé as she dabbles in a little bit of everything. She’s a Tony Award-winning actress, a Broadway vet who played Glinda in the critically acclaimed production of “Wicked,” the star of a short-lived sitcom, a recording artist, and now, an in-demand Hollywood actress.
Even after her tedious, bumper-to-bumper commute from Los Angeles to Anaheim, Kristin shows no signs of being worse for the wear. With the bubbly enthusiasm of a best friend with a big secret to tell, she’s ready to talk. And trust me, this girl can and will talk. In fact, it’s amazing how many random topics can be discussed in the six minutes we chat before she is summoned to the show’s makeup chair. For instance …
- If acting and singing weren’t her thing, Kristin could probably be a makeup artist as she can talk Stila, MAC and Urban Decay with the best of them. This self-proclaimed “makeup junkie” likes to try new products whenever she goes out, which isn’t much these days with her hectic schedule (For the record, she’s booked solid with work commitments until 2009).
- After it’s pointed out that she looks like a pint-sized version of Cameron Diaz, the 4’11 actress recalls how that observation was almost a stumbling block with her getting “The West Wing” gig. “At first they were a little concerned,” Kristin recalls. “As a result, they really downplay it. I don’t wear hardly any makeup, and they do my hair very conservatively.”
- When she wasn’t listening to musical theater as a kid, Kristin was a diehard Christian music fan. “When I was growing up, I listened to Sandi Patty, Amy Grant and Evie — all the famous Christian singers. That was my era!” she proudly enthuses.
And later that evening, Kristin reveals that it’s this love of Christian music and a desire to express her faith through it that motivated her to choose the decidedly inspirational songs for her latest CD, "Just As I Am."
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