Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo Go Live for Wicked movie

Ariana Grande as Glinda and Cynthia Erivo as Elphaba in Wicked

Wicked movie director Jon M. Chu has revealed that show stars Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo sang live on the set of filming the upcoming two-part film.

In a recent interview with Vanity Fair, Jon shared that, in a move following musical films like La La Land and Les Misérables, both Ariana and Cynthia delivered their songs live on set, eschewing the more conventional lip-syncing to pre-recorded tracks.

“These are live vocals,” he proudly stated. When it came to filming, the leading ladies themselves were the ones to push for this level of realism. “When we were shooting it, those girls were like, ‘Fuck the pre-records. We’re going live.'”

Jon recounted the initial concerns, mentioning, “there’s going to be a lot of wind in your air pipes. Is that okay?”

The response from the leading ladies was a confident: “Yeah. That’s what we do.”

Set against the fantastical backdrop of the Wicked universe, a prequel to the classic The Wizard of Oz, the film explores the intricate relationship between Cynthia’s Elphaba, the so-called Wicked Witch of the West, and Ariana’s Glinda the Good Witch.

Both performers bring not only their Grammy-winning vocal talents to the table but also an impressive acting prowess. Cynthia,
also an Oscar-nominated actor, and Ariana, whose career journey from Broadway to Nickelodeon to pop superstardom has been nothing short of spectacular, promise to deliver performances of a lifetime.

Cynthia didn’t hold back in praising her co-star, telling Vanity Fair: “I just need to say that I don’t think people realize that she’s got the chops. I don’t think people realize how brilliant this person’s brain and voice and talent is.”

Meanwhile Ariana recently opened up about spending six months of daily vocal lessons to prepare for the role.

“I have never wanted something as badly as I did this,” she said.

The first installment is slated for release on Nov. 27 by Universal Pictures, with Part Two following on Nov. 26, 2025.

About the author: Rachel Wise

UK based freelancer journalist Rachel contributes regularly to Stageberry with features and interviews from the hottest new shows and stage stars.


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