The star of Broadway (Wicked), TV (The West Wing), and movies (Bewitched, The Pink Panther), Kristin Chenoweth is a talented bundle of surprises and a devout Christian. Promoting her new CD, As I Am, she took time out to explain herself to us.
Musto: Hi, Kristin. Your CD really takes your voice to new places.
Chenoweth: Its actually old places, because thats how I grew up singing!
Will the theater queens embrace it?
When I had my CD signing at Tower, 450 people showed up, and most of them were theater fans. There are a couple of Jesus songs on there, but it doesnt matter what your faith isyou can enjoy it!
Praise Satan. Are you a Southern Baptist?
Oh, God, no. It didnt sit with me anymore, so Im in a nondenominational church in L.A. I grew up Southern Baptist, for sure, but you have to finally reckon with what you believe and how you feel God believes, and it didnt agree. My parents also separated themselves from it. Were Christians. We cant judge people and say whos going to hell.
Even Pat Robertson? You recently caught flack for going on his homophobic The 700 Club.
Its given me food for thought for the next time Im asked to do that show. Im not a follower of his. His views are diametrically opposed to mine. But on the show I was able to talk about how we as people of faith have to be openhearted to people who believe differently than us. I guess thats the good that came out of it. If it touched one person, thats an important message.
Is there someone to blame for booking you?
I have to take responsibility. But I cant apologize because then Id have to apologize to the Christian right for playing Annette Benings lesbian lover in Running With Scissors. But I wont do it again.
To read more Kristin, pick up the July issue of Out.