While Kristin Chenoweth is as Christian as they come, that does not mean she’s anti-gay.
In fact, this LGBT ally believes people who use the Bible for hate is the complete opposite of what Jesus taught.
While many know Chenoweth from television appearances in shows such as Glee, The West Wing and Pushing Daisies, this sweet-as-apple-pie actress is a singer at heart.
She originated the role of Glinda the Good Witch in Wicked, a musical celebrating its tenth anniversary this year.
Chenoweth is also returning to the UK after nearly a decade to perform. She will begin her tour at the London Coliseum on 11 March before moving onto Manchester, Edinburgh and Cardiff.
In a wide-ranging conversation, the Emmy and Tony winner chatted to Gay Star News on everything from performing at the Oscars, to Wicked movie rumors, and why marriage equality should just hurry up already.
How are you feeling about performing in the UK?
I cannot wait to get there! Oh it’s been, say nine years since I performed there? This time, it’s on a little bit of a bigger scale and I’m very nervous.
I just can’t wait to meet some of the fans over there because the last time I was there to sing was maybe two years ago and our president was over for the state dinner with your Queen.
I was asked to sing a mini concert for her, and while that was extremely special - it was also extremely private. So this is something that I’ve really wanted to do for many years. I’ve wanted to come back there basically since I left.
As a big ally of the LGBT community, how do you feel about the marriage equality fights in the US and across the world?
Well I just want it to hurry up and not be an issue anymore! I’m very proud of the work that has been done so far, I want us to hurry it up a bit more.
I think it’s important to say this because a lot of people think if you’re religious or you have any sort of faith, you’re automatically against equality in marriage.
I speak as a Christian person, and as a woman and as an artist. I would love nothing more for my friends who love each other to get married.
I don’t think it’s a sin, I think we’re born how we’re born. Look at me, I’m 4’11’’, and so if it was a sin to be short what would I do? Well I’d just be, you know, it’s how God made me.
I guess I just don’t understand why we’re still having this conversation. I want it to be done, I want it to be over with, and, you know, it’s the biggest equal rights issue – at least in our country since the 50s. I’m hopeful that in my lifetime it’’ll just be a faint memory.
How do you feel about Christians who use the Bible to spread hate?
I think it is very anti-Christian of them. It is the antithesis of what I believe. It is the antithesis of what you should believe if you believe in Jesus. It’s not what he taught, it’s the opposite of what he taught.
If Jesus was to walk the Earth today, or Buddha or anybody, they would be horrified. Those people saying they’re doing it in the name of God? No no no no no.
I have had a lot of flack from my community, from the Southern Baptists. It’s important to say it, as a Christian person. It’s important for me to do it.
Why do you think you’ve got such a big gay fanbase?
I don’t know!! (Laughs) Do you know? Will you help me understand?
Well, a lot of people do love you, not just the gays.
I do love my gays. And more than that, I like people generally. Whether gay or straight,… if you’re kind, I love you. I have felt so loved and embraced by the community, and I just appreciate it.
I’m sure the musicals can’t hurt either.
The work doesn’t hurt at all!
There’s rumors of a Wicked movie. How do you feel about it?
I feel thrilled, I want that movie to be made. I want more people who can’t afford a Broadway ticket to go and see the story.
It depends on how it’s done obviously, as I want it to be done great.
People always say, well wouldn’t you play Glinda? You know it’s been ten years since I played that role. If they keep on at this pace I’ll be playing Madame Morrible. They should hurry up!
Would you like to be in it if you were asked?
I’d probably love to be a part of it in any way I could. I care more about how it’s done than if I were in it or if Idina (Menzel - who played Elphaba) were in it.
I just care more about them staying true to the story, and you know, if that means one of us is involved or both of us involved or neither of us, as long as it just gets done. I don’t know what the timeline is, but it’s probably several years away, even now.
Wicked is loved and performed in countries around the world. Why do you think it’s so popular?
I tell you why, it holds a lot of themes that are important to us as humans. It’s about acceptance, it’s about friendship, and it’s about forgiveness more than anything, and love.
They’re all the most important things in life. I think whether you’re a truck driver or a gay man or woman or a child or an elderly, I just think it reaches the masses.
It’s also an unlikely friendship, and I think the real love story is between the women. We hadn’t seen it before, and that’s why it’s resonates.
I have to ask, what were the Oscars like?
Oh, fun! So fun! I was very nervous. I don’t know if it aired over there, but over here I did this pre-red carpet interview and I was most nervous interviewing Adele.
I actually requested to interview her and I had all these questions ready to go. And of course I became a bumbling fool, and I want more than anything to have those 45 seconds back!
It was actually really fun, and singing at the end of the Oscars was very fun, and I just had a good time. I had sung at the Oscars maybe four years ago in one of the best song categories.
This was much more relaxed because Seth (McFarlane) wrote our little song throughout the night. It was just fun, it was just a really good night.
Do you have a message for your gay fans out there?
Just to keep true to yourself. That is what I do, and it has served me a lot better than when I haven’t done that. Thank you. It would be wrong of me not to say that, to say thank you. I know that sounds weird, but thank you.