How Ariana Grande Really Got Her Part In The Wicked Movie

Before there were the mega-hits, the sold-out concerts, and even Nickelodeon, Ariana Grande was a theater kid. She was in local children's theater for years before getting her break on Broadway at the age of 14. Grande was the original Charlotte in the short-lived musical "13." The show was about growing up and not just doing what's popular. It's ironic because Grande is returning to her theatrical roots to star as Glinda in the "Wicked" movie alongside Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba. Grande will soon be crooning the sharp notes of "Popular" which her buddy Kristin Chenoweth began when the show debuted on Broadway in 2003. 

What's even more cosmic about Grande being in the film is that back in 2019 she shared just how much she adored Judy Garland, the star of "The Wizard of Oz" in 1939. "I would stand in front of the TV and mimic her body movements," Grande told Vogue. "I was always fascinated. She carried herself in a way that was so protected and soft and Judy." What's more, after Grande won the part, a tweet of hers from 2011 resurfaced, where Grande shared "how badly I want 2 play Glinda at some point in my life," dubbing it her "dream role," per the Daily Mail.

Now that she's destined for Oz, fans are still wondering how Grande got the role after spending so much time away from acting, let alone theater.

Ariana Grande left everything in the audition room

Director Jon M. Chu, who stunned fans with his direction of "In the Heights," is at the helm for the much anticipated "Wicked" film. Fans have been hearing about a potential "Wicked" film for years. Per Collider, Universal started developing plans for it in 2004 — just one year after the show debuted on Broadway. Now delayed for filming until June (is this movie ever going to come out?!) Chu took to Twitter to address the issue of casting. He wanted fans to know that not one, not even Ariana Grande, got a "free pass."

"EVERYONE had to audition," he wrote. "Nobody had a free pass. And each had compelling, personal takes on these characters. I wish I could show you the footage. It is ridiculously moving but I'll get it on camera for the movie for you to experience soon." He added that the performers left "EVERYTHING" — literally — in the audition room, with a photo of Grande's false lashes stuck to a mirror. He also wanted everyone to know that the auditions "the whole room in tears."

Hopefully, Chu's unofficial role as "Wicked" hype man can finally get this production rolling — if filming gets delayed any longer, we may have to tap Idina Menzel to use her original Elphaba magic to kick this thing into high gear.