When the forthcoming stage musical production of Death Becomes Her was officially announced several years ago, fans of the cult classic were thrilled to see Broadway icon and Tony-winner Kristin Chenoweth being tapped for the role of actress Madeline Ashton (originally played by Meryl Streep in the 1995 big-screen version). Immediately, casing suggestions abounded as to who would pay Ashton’s “frenemy” Helen Sharp (played by Goldie Hawn in the film). On a recent visit to Andy Cohen’s eponymous Radio Andy show Andy Cohen Live, Chenoweth herself weighed in on who she would like to see play the role; Sarah Jessica Parker.
When Cohen asked what she would like to perform on-stage with Parker, she emphatically said “Death Becomes Her”. She assured Parker (via the radio show) that she would make it “very comfortable” for her, and asked her to “please accept it after Hocus Pocus” (who is currently filming Hocus Pocus 2 in Rhode Island). The conversation continued on until suddenly Parker (a dear friend of Cohen’s) texted him live on-air and said “I’m listening”. She acknowledged that she did hear Chenoweth’s wishful casting and simply said “gotcha…I heard you…are there any other thoughts?”
One person who thinks that a stage production of Death Becomes Her could “lend itself really well” is one of the stars of the original cult classic, Goldie Hawn. During a recent visit to Andy Cohen’s Andy Cohen Live on Sirius XM’s Radio Andy, Cohen mentioned Chenoweth’s wish to bring the film to The Great White Way. Hawn called Death Becomes Her “way ahead of it’s time” and very tongue in cheek said “who’s not drinking the potion today”? She also revealed that the end of the original film is not at all what all of us actually saw….
What was written originally as the film’s finale shows Meryl Streep’s character and Hawn’s character all looked the same, years later in Switzerland. The characters were looking at locales to visit, and when Streep’s character or Madeline looked at Bruce Willis’ Ernest and saw them as “old”, Hawn’s Helen became “welled up” because “all she ever wanted was love”; she “never got love, but got everlasting life”. Hawn’s called it a “bittersweet ending” and a “cautionary tale” asking us all what do we truly wish for? Do we want a life filled with love and passion or do you want to live forever simply for the sake of not dying? While the studio did not think that ending was “of the tone”, Hawn admitted that the ending that the studio stayed with was probably the right one, stating that the final scene of Hawn’s headless Helen asking “do you remember where you parked the car” is “hilarious”!
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