Tony Award-winning star Kristin Chenoweth is known for her amazing voice and larger-than-life personality. Now, the Oklahoma-raised star is going back to her country roots in the new series GCB, which premieres Sunday, March 4 at 10:00 p.m., ET on ABC.
The wicked new drama, set in Dallas, centers around the ultimate high school “mean girl” Amanda [Leslie Bibb], who is forced to return home in disgrace after her marriage ends in scandal. Amanda quickly finds herself at odds with the town's gossipy, church-going, designer-clad women all determined to get revenge on her. Chenoweth plays Carlene Cockburn, once the ugly duckling, who was tortured by Amanda in high school.
Chenoweth, 43, talked to Parade.com about GCB, staying true to her faith, and her own struggle with a high school bully.
On her sassy character, Carlene Cockburn.
“I love her. She makes me laugh so hard. She is very religious. She believes in her faith and really does try to walk the walk, but can’t really talk the talk because this girl that bullied her has come back to town and she’s derailed by it. I understand what that must be like.
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“People say she’s the GCB villain, and yea, she’s the villain, but she’s also misunderstood. She’s had a difficult time growing up as the geek and the nerd and she’s transformed her whole image and now she’s got to deal with Amanda again. I think women of all ages can relate to that. Even if you’re a really confident woman, there’s still always one woman that makes you feel insecure.”
On her own high school experience.
“I have to say, I was very lucky. I was a cheerleader, but I was also kind of a nerd. I was in choir and drama and I was also in the French club. I had friends in all groups. I wasn’t the most popular, but I had my fun and enjoyed my friends. I was very straight-laced, Type-A personality, and I’m pretty sure I was the only one that auditioned for the school musical!”
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On being bullied in the past
“I was bullied by this one girl who said, ‘I just want to punch you in the mouth because you’re happy.’ Now of course I can laugh at that, but back then I was so hurt. I think a lot of people understand having been bullied. I don’t care who you are, someone has given you a hard time in your life. But I wouldn’t have traded it for anything because all of us have been bullied at one time and hopefully if we can overcome it, it makes us stronger.”
Will GCB rile some feathers with religious groups?
“Oh, I think it already has! As a Christian, I just really want people to watch it because I would never do anything that made fun of my God, I just wouldn’t. I think that there is a difference of making fun of and making fun with, and we are definitely showing that world in a fun way. It’s not trying to do anything controversial. It’s just fun.”
Can fans expect her to show off her famous pipes on the show?
“Yes, I will, but I will be singing as Carlene, not Kristin. And there’ll be other singers that come and go in the show and I love that because the role lends itself so well to having music because it’s set in church.”
To read more: http://www.parade.com/celebrity/celebrity-parade/2012/03/kristin-chenoweth.html
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