In a new interview on Sunday (Feb. 27), Erivo opened up about how she and the pop star are building a relationship as they prepare to shoot the long-awaited movie musical. “Ariana and I have been meeting and chatting and talking and building our own relationship because we know that it’s a sisterhood and we want to be ready and prepared to be there for one another,” she told E!‘s Laverne Cox from the red carpet of the 2022 SAG Awards. “So it’s that, and Jon [M. Chu, the film’s director] is amazing so we’re just sort of waiting to start. We’re ready to rehearse and get into it.
“It’s the most delightful thing ever,” the Broadway vet — who earned a Tony Award in 2016 for her role as Celie in the revival of The Color Purple — continued. “We sat for, like, three hours on the floor of my house and just chatted and talked about everything.”
When it comes to learning the part of Elphaba to Grande’s Glinda, though, Erivo readily admitted she already had the music down pat like every other lifelong Wicked fan who’s dreamed of playing the role. “Before I even went to do the audition, I knew that music like the back of my hand. I was doing it at drama school and sneaking up to the piano room and just learning it all,” she said. “So I think it’s about learning the music, learning the story, finding our sort of way through it.”
While the roles of Fiyero, Boq, Nessarose, Madame Morrible and the other citizens of Oz have yet to be announced, a contingent of the musical’s most outspoken fans have made it known in a petition to producers that one person they don’t want to see in the film is James Corden. Grande and Erivo announced their casting on social media in November.