While some might see Grande's name and think, ‘The same actress from the cheesy Nickelodeon show Victorious?’ this is not a thoughtless casting. And while it might seem as if the producers are merely trying to cash in on one of the biggest pop stars in the world, Grande is more than just another teeny bopper.
At only the age of 15, the singer got her own experience on Broadway, when she filled the role of Charlotte in the musical 13. In addition, she also played Penny Pingleton in the recent Hairspray Live! and will feature in Adam McKay's upcoming black comedy Don't Look Up.
Needless to say, Grande also possesses a jaw-dropping four-octave vocal range, with the ability to display numerous vocal tricks and even hit a whistle register.
But, did we mention that one of Grande's mentors is none other than Kristin Chenoweth? Yep, the same woman who originated the role of Glinda for Wicked on Broadway.
While the two worked together on Hairspray Live!, they met long before that, when Grande was only 9 and she came to a performance of Wicked. Chenoweth told ET Canada, “Her nana and mom brought her backstage and [Grande] goes, ‘I want to be you when I grow up’...She came up to my waist, I felt like Heidi Klum. And then we stayed in touch.” When speaking of Chenoweth, Grande has said, “I learned everything I know from watching this woman.”
Throughout the years, Grande's love of Wicked stuck. Not only did she do a show-stopping rendition of “The Wizard and I” at the Wicked 15th Anniversary Special, but when she was 19 and an interviewer asked which role she would dream of playing, she said, “Glinda. For sure. I think that Elphaba's singing part would be more fun, singing-wise, but I think I'm more of a [Glinda].”