Emmy nominee Seyfried, who played Theranos founder and convicted fraudster Holmes for Hulu’s “The Dropout,” told Backstage that it was her dream to audition for “Wicked.” Despite not landing the role of Glinda, Seyfried was proud of her audition, which proved just how far her singing range has come since the days of “Les Misérables” (2012) and “Mamma Mia!” (2008).
“I have dreams that I’m still auditioning for ‘Wicked,'” Seyfried said. “Last summer while I was playing Elizabeth [on ‘The Dropout’], on the weekends I was auditioning in person to play Glinda in the movie version of ‘Wicked’ — because I wanted it that much that I was like, ‘You know what? Yeah, I have to play the last scene of ‘The Dropout’ on Tuesday. I’ll give my Sunday to you.’ I literally bent over backwards while playing the hardest role of my life.”
She added, “But I think it also taught me how far I’ve come as a singer, which I really wanted to prove. Because ever since ‘Les Mis,’ I was like, I need to be better. I need to do better. So whatever comes next in terms of musicals, I’m finally prepared.”
The two-part musical helmed by “Crazy Rich Asians” and “In the Heights” director Chu stars Ariana Grande as Glinda and Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba. Principal photography starts in November for the reimagined prequel to the “Wizard of Oz,” based on Gregory Maguire’s novel and was adapted by Winnie Holzman with music and lyrics by Stephen Schwartz.
“Wicked: Chapter One” premieres December 25, 2024, with “Wicked: Chapter Two” exactly a year later in 2025. The first half will conclude with Erivo as Elphaba singing “Defying Gravity” in the Universal Pictures release.
Seyfried no doubt had to shed her spot-on Holmes voice for the “Wicked” audition, with the “Mean Girls” alum telling IndieWire that mastering Holmes’ uniquely deep vocal register was a daunting task unto itself.
“I had less freedom because we, as a society, know her, watched her story, know how she sounds, how she looks, how she walks, how she goes about the world,” Seyfried explained. “But that doesn’t mean that it’s not my own version. It’s just that I have to stay close to certain things, which is a blessing, which is an awesome thing about my job and about this particular portrayal. I did a deep dive.”
Seyfried admitted, “I did feel uncomfortable at times getting the depth — because my voice is never going to be able to go as low as hers does, I just physically can’t. There are limitations. I knew that that had to be okay, but the more I did it the more competent I felt going lower and more outward. That’s just how I describe her voice. So it was experience and time that made me more comfortable.”