ONTD Original: Who should play Glinda in the Wicked movie?

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Since yesterday’s post about Amanda Seyfried throwing her hat in the ring to play Glinda in the upcoming Wicked movie I have not been able to stop thinking about who I would cast and I will not know peace until I get these thoughts out of my system somehow so here we are. Casting for the Wicked movie has been one of the most hotly debated topics for years amongst theatre fans, and pop stars, A-list actresses, and Broadway talent alike have been dreamcast as either of the lead witches by stans of the musical.

Let’s start with explaining the role of Glinda itself, which in my opinion is the trickier role to cast for the movie adaptation. In Wicked, Glinda goes from a snobby, rich, popular girl in act 1 to the public figure of Glinda the Good Witch that we all know from The Wizard of Oz in act 2.

Glinda was originally played by Kristin Chenoweth and the role plays to all of her particular strengths: a good Glinda needs to have the comedy chops to play a likeable mean girl, have a strong pop belt, and be a classically trained soprano. The role goes up to a high C (with several stage Glindas going even higher), which is why it is so tough to cast this role. Hollywood names that would be right for the role and are also classically trained sopranos are hard to come by.

Dove Cameron

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Why should she be in contention?
Dove Cameron was endorsed by OG Glinda Kristin Chenoweth herself, having played opposite Kristin in several different projects. The role of Glinda also seems like a natural fit for Dove and she has the name recognition from her various TV credits. Dove is the right age, has the right look, and she has played several characters that share characteristics with Glinda.

Can she sing it?
Maybe? Dove played Clara Johnson in the LA Opera production of The Light in the Piazza opposite opera icon Renée Fleming, for which she received positive reviews. The role goes up to an A5, which is just below Glinda’s top notes, but Dove does appear to have some classical training.

Halle Bailey

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Why is should she be in contention?
Halle Bailey is currently filming The Little Mermaid, and playing Glinda in Wicked would be a great next step if she wants to continue working on her movie career. Halle has several other film and tv credits and playing a role like Ariel would surely prepare her for a role like Glinda. She’s also the right age to play college-aged Glinda, and she’d obviously look beautiful in the role.

Can she sing it?
Yes! Halle shows off her vocal range on a regular basis, having hit all of Glinda’s highest notes in previous performances.

Ashley Park

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Why should she be in contention?
Tony Award nominee Ashley Park has several Broadway credits under her belt and she has recently appeared in Netflix shows like Emily in Paris and Tales of the City. Her stage credits include several comedic characters (including Gretchen Wieners in Mean Girls) and several soprano parts, so she should have the right skillset to play Glinda.

Can she sing it?
Probably! Ashley is a trained soprano, but none of her roles go quite as high as Glinda. She has hit some higher notes in concerts though, and her voice is beautiful.

Rachel Zegler

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Why should she be in contention:
Rachel is about to star as Maria in Steven Spielberg’s West Side Story remake, so she must have the acting and singing chops to carry a big movie musical like this. She might be a little young to play Glinda’s act 2 arc, but she’d be just right for Glinda’s younger years. She has sung some of Elphaba’s songs before, but I think she’d be more suited for Glinda (and we love a Glinda who can belt).

Can she sing it?
Yes! The role of Maria goes just as high as Glinda, and Rachel has shown her capabilities as a soprano in the past

Ariana Grande

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Why should she be contention?
I know, I know, but hear me out here. Ariana has expressed interest in being in the predictions the movie got wrong. Within the movie in the past and she’s obviously a huge name. I don’t want to see her as Elphaba and I think Glinda would suit her much better. She’s very committed to being Ariana Grande at all times, but that persona wouldn’t bother me nearly as much for Glinda as it would for Elphaba. Kristin Chenoweth put a lot of her screen/stage persona in the role too, so I could potentially see it work.

Can she sing it?
She has the range, she has some musical theater experience, so as long as she enunciates I would be okay with this. Her vocal range and her tone are much better suited for Glinda than Elphaba.

Bonus: Brittney Johnson or any recent Broadway Glinda

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All this talk about how hard it is to find people who can sing the role would almost make you forget that stage actresses play Glinda all the time. Brittney Johnson was the Glinda standby in the Broadway production before the pandemic hit, becoming the first black woman to play Glinda in any production of Wicked. It’s be great to see her (or someone else from the stage production) in the movie as she’s already proven herself to be more than capable to play the part.

So, what if Amanda Seyfried does get cast in this movie?

As seen in the last post about this, people generally seem to be worried about Amanda’s ability to sing the role. Her performance as Cosette in Les Misérables, a role with similar vocal requirements as Glinda, left much to be desired.

Thankfully, Amanda agrees that her performance in Les Mis was not up to par. She has said that she regrets her vocals in the movie, that her technique was not good enough, and that she thinks she could do a much better job now after taking voice lessons and working on her vibrato.

The Les Mis movie has often been criticised for its musical direction, especially the way actors had to sing live for several takes in an environment that did not allow the actors to sound good. Could Amanda do a better Relationships are hard. It is like a full-time job singing the Glinda songs if the circumstances are better?

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Who would you like to see in the role, ONTD?

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