“Wicked” Director Confirms Movie Musical Uses Ariana Grande, Cynthia Erivo's 'Live Vocals'

Jon M. Chu revealed in a conversation with Vanity Fair that the actresses insisted on not using pre-recorded tracks

<p>Patrick T. Fallon / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty</p> Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande appear at the 96th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.

Patrick T. Fallon / AFP) (Photo by PATRICK T. FALLON/AFP via Getty

Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande appear at the 96th Annual Academy Awards at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California.

Fans of Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo's live performances now have even more of a reason to look forward to Wicked.

Jon M. Chu, director of the upcoming movie musical, confirmed in a new interview with Vanity Fair that the film's two leads sang live on set.

"These are live vocals,” Chu revealed. “When we were shooting it, those girls were like, ‘F--- the pre-records. We’re going live.’"

“There’s going to be a lot of wind in your air pipes. Is that okay," Chu recalled asking the actors, to which they replied, “‘Yeah. That’s what we do.’"

Singing live for the project also came with added challenges, as Grande and Erivo — who play Glinda and Elphaba, respectively — shared in the Vanity Fair feature that Erivo had to belt out track “Defying Gravity" while on a harness, while Grande jumped on a chandelier during a number of her own at one point.

"She was just so excited to perform for her new friend,” Grande said of Glinda. “She wanted to do a trick.”

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<p>Universal Pictures/Youtube</p> Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo appear in 'Wicked.'

Universal Pictures/Youtube

Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo appear in 'Wicked.'

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During a conversation last month on Amazon Music's Zach Sang Show, Grande described her 6-month preparation for the film adaptation of Stephen Schwartz’s hit Broadway musical. As she explained, she "never wanted something as badly as I did this."

“I had no expectations, I was just thankful to go in at all, I was so excited to have the opportunity to audition," Grande shared, adding that she had “been hunting” producer Marc Platt for nearly a decade.

“Since I was 20, I was like, ‘Hey, I don't know when this is happening, but when it's happening, may I please at least just audition?’ That's all I wanted, was an audition," grande said. "I've never wanted anything more.”

Preparation for the role included “voice lessons every day, acting lessons every day," Grande shared, adding that she ultimately "trained every single day."

“I am a person who started on Broadway and I’ve always been a musical theater person,” said Grande, who first appeared on Broadway in the musical 13. “It all happened absolutely as it was meant to be.”

<p>Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images</p> Cynthia Erivo, Ariana Grande

Rodin Eckenroth/Getty Images; Kevin Mazur/Getty Images

Cynthia Erivo, Ariana Grande

Related: Wicked Costars Ariana Grande and Cynthia Erivo Present Together at Oscars 2024

Grande and Erivo also teamed up this month at the Academy Awards to present the trophy for Best Original Song and Best Original Score, as they dressed in their characters respective go-to colors.

Other actors in the two-part Wicked on-screen adaptation include Jonathan Bailey as Fiyero, Jeff Goldblum as the Wizard, Marissa Bode as Nessarose, Bowen Yang as Pfannee, Keala Settle as Miss Coddle, Ethan Slater as Boq and Michelle Yeoh as Madame Morrible.

Wicked: Part One is in theaters Nov. 27. Part Two will follow on Nov. 26, 2025.

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