PLAYBILL BRIEF ENCOUNTER With Kristin Chenoweth, Bouncing Back From Adversity

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12 Sep 2012

Kristin Chenoweth
Kristin Chenoweth

Kristin Chenoweth, the Tony Award-winning Broadway baby of Wicked and You're a Good Man, Charlie Brown, and TV's "GCB" and "Pushing Daisies," talks to Playbill for the first time since a frightening workplace accident knocked her (temporarily) out of commission.


On July 11, on an outdoor Brooklyn set where she was shooting an episode of TV's "The Good Wife," Kristin Chenoweth was struck by falling equipment and knocked unconscious. Cracked nose. Skull fracture. Bruised ribs. Hip injury.

It was a scary time for fans, family and friends, to say nothing of Chenoweth herself, whose tiny frame and preexisting neck condition seemed to make her more vulnerable to serious injury. Bed rest was the answer. Her immediate return to a recurring role on "The Good Wife" would be impossible. And the injury got in the way of any immediate concert and movie plans. (You may recall that her spring 2012 schedule was busy with concert engagements, including a stop into New York City Center. London was next, in September.) 

Now, two months later, following bed rest and physical therapy, she is emerging from her shell with an occasional talk show appearance ("Anderson Live" on Sept. 10, "Live With Kelly and Michael" on Sept. 7) and talk of more concerts later this fall.

We got a few minutes with her on Sept. 10, from the Green Room of "Anderson Live."

What kind of response have you gotten from the community since all of this happened?
Kristin Chenoweth: Amazing! When things like this happen in your life, and you receive nothing but love, it does aid in the "getting better" part, you know? [Laughs.] So many of my theatre friends — friends in general — and family bonded together and helped me so much. I think that's why I'm healing so well.

It's not "recovery" at the moment. It's "road to recovery," right?
KC: Yes. People think, "Okay, so it's supposed to be 8-10 weeks for the skull fracture, so you'll be well by Sept. 25! Okay!" But the thing is that I had some other things that happened — I have some rib issues and neck, which I already had, and it kind of exacerbated it in a different area. And then, you know, I cracked my nose and [injured] my shoulder and my hip. So I have more than just one thing to get better, but I'm doing physical therapy, and that's really working.

I do require a little bit more sleep, I think. When you crack your head open, you require lots of rest. And, just getting back into the daily life, because for so many weeks, I was not even able to move. So the fact that it is eight weeks later, and I'm out and about, even just co-hosting with Anderson [Cooper] today, it's like, "Okay, I'm getting back into it. I'm getting back into it."

"Rest" is not something that you're known for. You're always going. Was it a challenge to say, "I'm just going to lay here?"
KC: [Laughs.] Oh! Well, I first of all didn't have a choice, but yeah. I had told my doctors that I was going to go back to work in four weeks, and I was in a wheelchair at the time when I told them that. They started laughing at me: "No you're not. You're not!" And, they were right. I was trying to go back to "The Good Wife," and that's when it became apparent to me that I needed to take a little time. But yeah, when you go from 200 miles per hour to zero, and you're left with just your thoughts [laughs], that can be a scary, wonderful journey. And it has been, and it's made me realize — again, we all know life is short — I want to enjoy this life. I love what I do, but I still want to cultivate my friendships, and just take a little bit more vacation in general, and enjoy the success and the love and family — all that stuff. So it's very true that you readjust. I don't want to say I'm going to stop working because that's not gonna happen, but I just want to just slow it down a bit, maybe.


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