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Exclusive Interview: Kristin Chenoweth, from 'Pushing Daisies'

October 17, 2007

Kristin Chenoweth is a woman of many talents. She's an actress, a singer, has appeared in film, on TV, and on Broadway. Perhaps best known for her work on The West Wing, Chenoweth now finds herself on Pushing Daisies, the fall's most interesting and well-received new series. Kristin plays Olive Snook, an employee of The Pie Hole and unabashed lover of the pie maker himself, Ned. The first few episodes of Pushing Daisies have seen Olive hang out her window in full-spy mode, sell pies with extreme enthusiasm and, last week, break into song. Kristin was unavailable for our usual phone interview format, so we sent her along some questions and she responded via e-mail. Her answers can be found below.

How were you first approached for the role of Olive Snook? What were your first reactions to the pilot script?

-I was approached by Barry Sonnenfeld and Bryan Fuller about the show. The role of Olive spoke to me because she's a bit of the underdog. I rarely get to sink my teeth into those parts.


Obviously, the pilot script had to be incredible, but did you have any worries about how they would pull it off? Was it difficult to visualize the world of Pushing Daisies from what was on the page?

-I knew Barry would be the star of the show. That combined with his specific style and uniqueness would make the show special. Its his vision and the writing that make the show.


It didn't take long for audiences to get to watch you sing (the second episode). Was this a pre-requisite for your character? Or, did it happen once you were cast they knew they had a Tony winner in the role?

-The singing thing was a surprise to me. Bryan felt like putting it out there right away since many people were already writing in asking when I might sing. I get a kick out of singing on a show where it could actually make sense that someone sings. It was by no means a pre-requisite for me to take the part. I usually don't think singing on TV is a great idea but it certainly works in our world.


When you were making the pilot, did you anticipate that Pushing Daisies would garner such a universally positive response from critics and viewers alike, considering how different and quirky the show is?

-I knew from the minute I read it that it would speak to people. Just like I did the second I read the script for Wicked. I didn't know if critics would get it but apparently the majority of them dig it. Which is nice. Now millions of people are watching. Its a great honor to be involved from the ground up on something so special.


Is Bryan Fuller a crazy person? What kind of mind comes up with these sort of stories?

-Bryan fuller is a genius. Does that make him crazy. Hmmm. No. Haha. He should write a musical in his future. He has so many great qualities as a writer. There's nothing he can't do in my opinion.


Will Olive ever get to help solve a murder?

-I do believe Olive will get to solve a murder. She will become part of the mod squad. Which is exciting to me because I love watching crime shows. Now I will get to live out my dream as a wanna be detective.
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