Kristin Chenoweth is ready for Oscar night … almost.
The singing-acting dynamo performed the “Enchanted” song “That’s How You Know” at the 2008 Academy Awards, but she’s entering new territory by working the pre-show as a host and interviewer for the first time. Tony and Emmy winner Chenoweth will share duties with Lara Spencer (“Good Morning America”), Destiny’s Child singing veteran Kelly Rowland and journalist Jess Cagle on “The Oscars Red Carpet Live” Sunday (Feb. 24) on ABC.
“To be honest, I never really saw myself in a role like that,” Chenoweth tells Zap2it. “I was a little hesitant, then I came to understand that I would be coming at it from the creative aspect. I’m not a very good person to go, ‘Who are you wearing?’ or, ‘Who do you want to win?’ That’s just not my thing.
“It’s going to be more about how people become the role, more from an actor’s viewpoint. That got me excited. And I also loved that the producers were thinking outside the box for the red carpet. There’s certainly room in this world for fashion, and goodness knows I love that, but this is a little bit more creative.”
Jazzed as she is about the one-night-only job, Chenoweth admits, “I don’t really know how it’s going to go yet. I’m on my way to find out, learn more and understand who I’ll be talking with. It’s a new experience, but I trust (Oscar producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron, for whom Chenoweth starred in a 2003 ABC version of ‘The Music Man’). I just trust them so.”
The Oscars aren’t Chenoweth’s only one-night stand of late: Friday (Feb. 15), she recorded a “Live From Lincoln Center” performance that PBS airs Sunday, March 24. It’s a festival of show-stoppers popularized by “The Dames of Broadway … All of ‘Em!!!” (per the program’s subtitle), and Chenoweth is happy with how it went, especially while still recovering from her fallen-lighting-fixture accident on the set of CBS’ “The Good Wife” last summer.
“I think there were 17 songs,” she says, “probably four of which I’ve done before, so it was really fun to investigate new material — and material I’d wanted to do. This was the perfect opportunity for that, and also for seeing just where I was [health-wise]. I wanted to honor the assignment.”