May 17th, 2011
01:35 PM ET
Kristin Chenoweth has plenty to smile about these days.
Besides promoting healthy grins with Listerine's new Your Mouth Has Something to Say campaign, she recently completed a guest spot on "Glee," has a new sitcom and album in the works, and is set to play Tammy Faye Bakker in a Broadway musical.
"I've always been obsessed with my teeth looking white and pretty," Chenoweth tells Marquee of why she got involved with the Listerine campaign, which aims to educate people about the importance of a healthy smile. "I was lucky: I wasn't born with any height, but I have a decent set of teeth."
And she enjoys showing them off. "It's not that I think, 'smile because your smile's so beautiful.' It's more about feeling happy and wanting to share that with other people."
Chenoweth does just that with her guest spots as McKinley High alum April Rhodes on "Glee." "I love coming on as April," she tells Marquee. "[Series creator] Ryan Murphy has created an amazing character."
While Chenoweth believes cast member Jenna Ushkowitz earns top honors for her smile ("Her whole face lights up"), it's Matthew Morrison who makes the blonde beauty grin from ear to ear.
"I love the person he is," she says. "He's incredibly talented and can sing and all that, but I love his demeanor. He's really down to earth."
Despite her affection for the "Glee" gang, Chenoweth isn't hoping for a permanent spot on the Fox series just yet. "I think April coming on and doing her thing is special," she says. "I love just getting to come on and do it, and I get to do other things as well."
Though she isn't sure when April might be back on "Glee," Chenoweth does know which artist's songs she would like to see highlighted next season. "Dolly Parton," says the Oklahoma native, who is a huge fan of the music legend and even included a song about her—"What Would Dolly Do?" (aka "WW Double D")—on her upcoming country-pop album, "Some Lessons Learned."
"My producer said, 'Let's approach [the album] like what would Dolly do? What material would speak to her? You have a very similar spirit and positive outlook. What would Dolly do?'" she recalls. "By the end, I said, 'Why aren't we writing that song?' So we wrote it."
In addition to releasing her record this fall, Chenoweth will also star in the ABC series "Good Christian Belles" (formerly "Good Christian Bitches") as a bullied high school girl who grows up to become the belle of Dallas.
"She stirs the pot a little and also prays for everyone," she says. "My character is sort of—not the villain, because I'd love to think she's just misunderstood. She's been hurt by [co-star] Leslie Bibb's character, Amanda, who was a mean girl in high school. And now my character has overhauled herself and she's the queen bee and doesn't want that to be disturbed."
Chenoweth is also looking to play another misunderstood woman, Tammy Faye Bakker, in an upcoming Broadway musical by "Dreamgirls" songwriter Henry Krieger. "She had such an interesting, sad, yet wonderful life and great outlook," says the Broadway vet, who will do a reading of the musical this Friday. And yes, she plans to add a little extra to her eyelashes.
"It's all about the tear stains and the mascara running," she says.
For more about Listerine's Your Mouth Has Something to Say campaign, which benefits the America's Toothfairy organization, visit listerine.com/yourmouth.
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