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Kristin Chenoweth is the very definition of a multi-hyphenate: She sings, she acts, she dances, she writes, she makes people guess what's in the "mystery Oscar box." She's a big talent in small (4'11"!) package. Today, her newest film, "Family Weekend," is out in theaters and VOD. She plays an overworked mom who is taken hostage by her jump roping prodigy daughter (Olesya Rulin) after missing one too many competitions.
NextMovie sat down with Chenoweth (and her dog Maddie, "named after the actress Madeline Kahn") in New York City prior to the release of "Family Weekend." We learnedher opinions on breastfeeding, getting mistaken for Cameron Diaz, her favorite small spaces to fold herself into and so much more.
You can do everything. What can you not do?
I'm not good at math, I don't balance my checkbook. Um...I don't go outside of my comfort zone a lot with food. Very plain. No ethnic foods, I stay pretty safe.
There's a heated debate in the movie about breast milk, including a line that I'll have nightmares about, that breast milk is "nature's protein shake."
I know, I know. I have to tell you, I've played many mothers now. In "Four Christmases," I had a baby, and that child was constantly reaching for my breast. But I think, you know, to each his own. Who wants to breastfeed should. I think if I had a baby I probably would not, because I would want to work and get back to it, but who's to say until you go through it. I was adopted, so I was not breastfed, and I turned out fine.
There's a part in the movie where you're tied up and screaming, when your daughter sprays you in the face with something to shut you up. What was that?
Water, thank goodness.
What is the best way to stop someone screaming?
It's actually something that I've used before for my dog. It's a can that when you push it it's air, and it sounds like tss, like that. That would definitely get them. The spray worked well too.
What's an unusual talent that you have?
I can pop most bones in my body. I can do all my pops. I can do these, I can do my neck, but I can do my elbows, my hip, my ankle, I can do my knee, I can do my hip.
I like cracking other peoples' knuckles.
Me too! People yell at me, "Don't, that hurts!" And I'm like, "just relax." There's something wrong with us. It's just, I don't know, I love it.
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The parents in this movie are held hostage. What's the most insane thing you did to your own parents growing up?
I was a pretty good kid. The most insane, it's more what I put them through. I had many car incidences. Let's just say I went through many cars, several wrecks, speeding tickets.
Was it your fault?
Do you drive now?
I love to speed.
Do you have a car now?
I do have one, but it's in LA. A BMW X3. The first time I moved [to New York] I was taking cabs because I didn't understand the subway. ow it's a little harder to take the subway, but it's the best way to get around the city.
Do you get recognized a lot?
I find I do when I speak. I can go undercover pretty good because I'm little, with a hat. But when I speak...
Do you ever get mistaken for other people?
Oh yeah, it's very weird. I've had a wide array of people. There was a time in my life, not now so much, that I got Cameron Diaz a lot, and I was like, "She's really, really tall, people." I've heard that, and I've heard Kate Bosworth. But now I get a lot of "You know who you remind me of? That one actress. Are you that Kristin girl?" Sometimes I just say no.
You hosted ABC's red carpet coverage for the Oscars this year. Were there any surprises that night?
First of all, I didn't realize it was going to be so cold. I've never worked with an earpiece, someone going 5, 4, 3... because I'm not a host, that was really hard for me. But what I wasn't prepared for is that things aren't done in time. You can say "I'm here live, right now!" and you're not, it was done an hour before. That was weird for me, and also getting thrown people that — I had already done all my research on getting to know the people I was going to interview, and that was really cool, but I was thrown a couple people that I didn't know I was going to interview. But that was cool too, I just talk to people like I'm talking to you.
Did you have any go-to panic questions for people you didn't recognize?
I recognized everybody, but I did ask a lot of people who they were most excited to see tonight, because I thought, that's kind of a question that people want to know.
What did you think of Seth MacFarlane's boobs song?
I thought it was hilarious. I don't know why people got so upset. I thought it was hilarious. I was like well, he's talking about women who have shown their boobs in Hollywood, and most of them have and it was funny, so. If you don't want it to be done, don't do it.
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Being 4'11", you wear a lot of very high heels. What are some things you can't do in heels?
Yes. Sometimes walk. Let's just leave it at that. Sometimes walking is the hardest part.
A lot of small people like to put themselves into small spaces. Is that a hobby of yours?
Oh, well, yeah, of course. I've done that my whole life. I can fit in, we used to have a sailboat, and it had an ice chest that was built inside the boat, where you open the door and put in the ice. My brother would go all the time, "See if you can fit!" And I could! I went in all kinds of places. I can fit all over. It comes in handy. They call me the pocket diva.
What's your favorite song to sing in the shower?
Oh my god, so embarrassing. You know that song that Trisha Yearwood sings? Leanne Rimes covered it, but it's Trisha's song — "How Do I Live Without You"? I sing that. I just love it. And I do like to do something operatic just to see where I'm at, I warm up a lot in the shower.
What current movie do you think should be made into a musical?
Oh my. That would be hilarious. Let's go with "Spring Breakers." And it would certainly appeal to our younger audience. But it would need a rock score. We need, like, Aerosmith.
What's the weirdest thing anyone's said to you on Twitter?
Naughty stuff. There's a lot of pervs out there. Like what they want to do. I'm like, that's a private thought, don't share it.
I also heard that you're a fan of "Dance Moms."
Yeah! I haven't met Abby Lee Miller yet. She wrote me a letter and I got a sweatshirt. It's my favorite show. I love it. I like love it. I think people get so weird, they're like oh, you like an abuser. And I'm like oh, shut up. I grew up in ballet, I grew up in dance, I grew up with hard teachers, strict. She yells a lot, but I love it. I love the talent. I love the kids.
You also used to compete in pageants. Which wins, "Dance Moms" or "Toddlers and Tiaras"?
"Dance Moms" right now. A year ago, I would have said "Toddlers," but now I have to go with "Dance Moms."
If you could write a part for yourself in the new "Star Wars" movies, what would you be?
I would like to play something from space that no one's ever seen.
Would you be in human form, or not recognizable?
Oh, no, I'd like to be an object, like a floating head, or a star that talks, or a shooting star. Or a crater.
Good or evil?
Evil, they're always more fun. Dream role, let's put it out there.
Have you ever seen a ghost?
Yeah. I have. I had a really high fever, so I can only just tell you the circumstances. I was very very ill, and a woman appeared in the corner of my bedroom and smiled at me. it was my grandmother, who I had never met, but it was the picture I always saw of her in this black dress. She just smiled at me.
Were you scared?
No, I was so sick, I was like yeah, thanks. And scene. But it was cool.
What would your porn name be?
Lady Edgewater. It's like Lady Chatterly!