Actress Kristin Chenoweth has a presence that lights up any screen or stage project she’s in, but not so long ago, plans were for her to take a trip to the dark side. While talking up the forthcoming Starz series American Gods, in which she plays the goddess Easter, she revealed that Bryan Fuller, one of its prime movers, had planned to make her a victim on his previous series Hannibal.
“I’m a big fan of Hannibal,” she says, “and he had written a part for me on it. It was the role of an opera singer who, you know, [makes throat-cutting gesture] gets it. I told him, ‘I just want to die and be eaten!’ But I was on Broadway at the time, and I was really devastated that I couldn’t do it, purely because of scheduling. That was the only reason.”
As it turns out, Chenoweth has a longtime love for fright fare, and she and Fuller (for whom she’d previously acted on Pushing Daisies, a gig that landed her a Best Supporting Actress Emmy Award) first bonded over Hannibal’s big-screen predecessor. “I love science fiction and I love horror; those are my two favorite genres,” she says. “That doesn’t exactly match up with me, right? But there’s another dichotomy for you. I love, love Silence of the Lambs, and I quoted it on set one day, and he said, ‘Are you kidding me? Is that what I think it is?’ I said, ‘Silence of the Lambs, baby! Get out unless you’re going to play with the big boys!’ And that’s how we started.”