Q&A: Kristin Chenoweth and Sean Hayes

The stars of Promises, Promises on drinking, American Idol and tweeting on Ambien.

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Kristin, how did you get involved with the show?
Chenoweth:
I knew Sean was doing the show...and [after Pushing Daisies was canceled] I was trying to think of what I wanted to do next. Certainly I always want to come back to Broadway if I can. Everyone expected me to go right into another series, but I'm always looking for ways to challenge myself.... Oh gosh, Sean, what you said just a minute ago just got me [She gets teary-eyed and puts her hand to her heart.]. Anyway, I've always wanted to work with him. I felt like it would be a match. And then [producers] Craig [Zadan] and Neil [Meron] called me and I had a meeting with Rob Ashford. It didn't take much for me to make the decision. I wanted to work with Sean and I wanted to sing this score, and I thought it was certainly a character that I can relate to, more than anyone could remotely understand. Sometimes you fall in love with the wrong person in life, so I wanted to explore that.

Tell us about Rob Ashford's concept for the production.
Hayes:
Rob's approaching it as a play with music, as opposed to a musical. The big poster outside in the Dunkin' Donuts color scheme says it's a musical comedy, but the show's very conceptualized. There's this crazy awesome lighting, and this very suggestive use of sets. It's ultra sexy, ultra '60s, ultra chic.

Kristin, you recently did a much-gossiped-about stint as a guest judge on American Idol. Will you be inviting Simon Cowell to the show?
Chenoweth:
Sure, he's invited! Randy, too. And Kara will definitely be there! I love me that Kara. It's funny, when they cut [the episode] together, they made it seem as if Simon was rolling his eyes at me.

The Daily News did a whole piece saying how much he hated you.
Chenoweth:
What?!? [Laughing] I didn't know that! I don't read those things.

And yet you're the Twitter queen.
Chenoweth:
I do love Twitter. But I get into trouble because I Ambien tweet.

Have you ever tweeted something you wanted to take back?
Chenoweth:
I don't want to take it back but I was so affected by Haiti—as everyone was—and I tweeted that I was going to adopt a Haitian baby. And by the way, I still might at some point. I was adopted, so I could see me doing that. Anyway, the next day on the red carpet everyone was asking me when my adoption was going to start.
Hayes: People come up to her and are like, "Let me see your baby!"
Chenoweth: It's a little embarrassing. Also, I tweeted I felt fat one day. Every woman has "fat" days! And everybody was like, "Don't tweet that for young girls to see." I thought, Oh my God, take a chill pill. I love food! I just had 21 Rolos and didn't vomit them up!

Now that we know about your eating issues, let's hear what happens when you get drunk.
Hayes:
I haven't done that since my college years. I'm not a big drinker anymore.
Chenoweth: Me neither. I never had a drink until college. When I was a freshman, I went to the Lambda Chi Alpha house and they taught me to play quarters and I threw up in the bathtub. I can't even smell tequila to this day. I remember having a voice lesson the next morning, and my teacher saying, [In a Julia Child--like voice] "I believe you're sweating alcohol. You may leave!" Now I never go out.

Not even to gay bars?
Hayes:
I can't see Kristin just hanging out in a gay bar. You wouldn't have any hair left! Everybody would want to get a lock.
Chenoweth: Maybe they wouldn't recognize me. A lot of times when I'm walking down the street, people go, "You know who you look like?" And I say, "Kristin Chenoweth." And they say, "No, Cameron Diaz."
Hayes: Really? You're much cuter.

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