Amanda Seyfried Auditioned For Glinda In Wicked While Still Shooting The Dropout

Nearly 20 years after "Defying Gravity" quickly became the song du jour for musical theater devotees to audition with (or, if you're more of a Glinda than an Elphaba, "Popular"), the smash-hit Broadway musical "Wicked" is finally headed to the big screen. The film has seen its share of changes along the way, replacing Stephen Daldry as director with "Crazy Rich Asians" and "In the Heights" helmer Jon M. Chu. More recently, the movie was turned into a two-parter on the grounds that it's impossible to top "Defying Gravity" as a mid-point musical number (which, okay, fair).

Adapted from Gregory Maguire's 1995 novel of the same name by book writer Winnie Holzman (with Stephen Schwartz penning the music and lyrics), "Wicked" explores the backstories for the witches in "The Wizard of Oz," including Glinda the Good Witch and the Wicked Witch of the West. Introduced as Galinda and Elphaba, two students studying at Oz's Shiz University, the characters go on to form a surprisingly close relationship — one that's loaded with queer subtext, let no one tell you otherwise — before they're forced to make choices that will forever alter the course of their destinies. Also, there's singing. Lots of singing.

Speaking to Backstage, Amanda Seyfried recently confirmed she was one of no doubt many actors who auditioned to star in the "Wicked" movies, specifically as Glinda. In fact, she was so driven to try and land the part, she did it while filming her role as the notorious Theranos founder and convicted fraudster Elizabeth Holmes in Hulu's "The Dropout."

'I literally bent over backwards while playing the hardest role of my life'

Amanda Seyfried has received no shortage of praise from critics for her turn in "The Dropout," starting with her spot-on imitation of the real-life Elizabeth Holmes' distinctly deep voice and continuing on to what /Film's Shania Russell called an "unsettling" recreation of Holmes' sociopathic behavior in her review of the show. Blonde hair aside, it's a role that's worlds apart from that of Glinda in "Wicked," and not just in terms of the latter's high-pitched vocals, either.

All the same, Seyfried told Backstage she was more than willing to switch gears and audition for Glinda in the middle of shooting "The Dropout," if it meant her getting to join her dream project:

"I have dreams that I'm still auditioning for 'Wicked.' Last summer while I was playing Elizabeth [on 'The Dropout'], on the weekends I was auditioning in person to play Glinda in the movie version of 'Wicked' — because I wanted it that much that I was like, 'You know what? Yeah, I have to play the last scene of 'The Dropout' on Tuesday. I'll give my Sunday to you.' I literally bent over backwards while playing the hardest role of my life."

Although the role has since gone to Ariana Grande, Seyfried said she's grateful for the audition. Having previously sung on-screen in the "Les Misérables" film musical and the "Mamma Mia!" movies, she felt trying out for Glinda "taught me how far I've come as a singer, which I really wanted to prove. Because ever since 'Les Mis,' I was like, I need to be better. I need to do better. So whatever comes next in terms of musicals, I'm finally prepared."

"Wicked" Part One arrives December 2024, with Part Two dropping December 2025.