Cynthia Erivo Explains How She’ll Sing Wicked’s “Defying Gravity” For The Movies

Everyone — including the drunken theater kids at your local karaoke bar — has put their personal mark on “Defying Gravity,” from the first Elphaba, Idina Menzelfirst belted the Broadway tube in Nasty. This video compilation of all the Elphabas banding together to sing a supercut of the song is a visual representation of how many people have performed it.

And now Oscar nominee and Tony winner Cynthia Erivo will give his point of view on the material in the in two parts Nasty film. Erivo tells EW she’s taking a more natural approach to songwriting.

“I listened to it and sang it. I kind of just go there naturally,” she said in an interview to promote Disney’s Pinocchio. “There’s the temptation to push and overdo it. I don’t know if that will be my method. I think my method will be to communicate the meaning of the song as much as possible.”

Erivo Praises Composer “Defying Gravity” Stephane Schwartzwho wrote the original music Nasty directing, for writing something “really spectacular”. She says it’s “a piece about not being held back by the greatness a person has within themselves and allowing themselves to rise beyond their own ideals or beyond their own possible wishes and to become as great as it is meant to be”.

Cynthia Erivo; Nasty

Rodin Eckenroth/WireImage; Scott Barbour/Getty Images Cynthia Erivo says she approaches “Defying Gravity” in the “Wicked” films more “naturally” than pushing too hard.

“That’s what this song is about,” she continues. “And I think if I do that root, whatever comes out of my mouth, I hope, will communicate that. You might hear things that are very mebut you might also hear things he’s already written.”

Erivo stars as Elphaba in both films, which will also star Ariana Grande like Glinda. Jon M Chuwho recently directed the musical film adaptation of In the heights, will direct both films. The first is set to hit theaters on December 25, 2024, and concludes with Erivo’s “Defying Gravity.” The second film will pick up after this moment in history when it hits screens on December 25, 2025.

“As we prepared for production over the past year, it became impossible to turn Wicked’s story into a single movie without causing it real damage,” Chu wrote in an earlier statement. “As we tried to cut songs or cut characters, these decisions started to feel like fatal compromises to the source material that has entertained us all for so many years. We decided to give ourselves a bigger canvas and not to be just one Nasty movie but two! With more space, we can tell the story of Nasty as it was meant to be told while bringing even more depth and surprise to the journeys of these beloved characters.”

“Cynthia, Ariana and I – and all of the cast and crew – are committed to creating nothing less than an experience that honors its foundation for all of the fans who have waited for this film, and to delivering an exciting and fantastical world full of dynamic characters that beckon those who are unfamiliar,” Chu added.

But first, Erivo will be seen more as a “good witch” as the Blue Fairy in Disney’s Pinocchio, which arrives Thursday on Disney+.

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