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Idina Menzel talks about how she channeled Glenn Close’s strength to handle onstage insecurity

Kyra Sedgwick, Connie Britton and Idina Menzel
Kyra Sedgwick, from left, Connie Britton and Idina Menzel attend Women in Film’s 13th annual Oscar nominees party at the Sunset Room in Hollywood on Friday.
(Michael Kovac / Getty Image)

Who would have guessed that Idina Menzel, the big voice behind Elsa in the “Frozen” films, could ever feel insecure?

From onstage at Women in Film’s Friday party for this year’s female Oscar nominees, Menzel told guests about how they inspire her and how she herself is sometimes insecure. “People think [otherwise] because I sing these songs, and I have this really big voice,” she said. “And all these songs are about empowering little girls and being a role model.”

The acclaimed actress-singer, who will again belt out a nominated song at this Sunday’s Academy Awards telecast, then spoke about a trick she used during her Tony-winning Broadway run as Elphaba in “Wicked.”

Haley Lu Richardson and Beanie Feldstein
Haley Lu Richardson, left, and Beanie Feldstein at Women in Film’s 13th annual party for female Oscar nominees.
(Michael Kovac / Getty Images)
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“I was having an insecure moment about finding my voice for real, my inside voice, and I told myself one night, ‘Tonight you’re going to be ... Glenn Close as Elphaba.’ I couldn’t be myself and find my own power, but I decided I’d be Glenn Close and I found so many amazing things. I held for laughs. I held for the applause. I took a longer bow. I held my shoulders back.”

She then named Kathy Bates in “Primary Colors” as somebody else she thinks about “whenever I want to go in a room and kick ass.”

“For all of us,” she said, “we have all these wonderful women in our lives that set an example. There is nothing more powerful than sisterhood. We all have to keep supporting each other.”

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Held at the Sunset Room in Hollywood, Menzel was a cohost for the affair with producer Cathy Schulman, an 2006 Oscar winner for the film “Crash.” At the party, presented by Max Mara, Stella Artois, Cadillac and Tequila Don Julio, Women in Film honored all the women nominated for their work in front of and behind the cameras.

This year numbering 65, the 2020 women nominees represent “Jojo Rabbit,” “Once Upon a Time ... in Hollywood,” “The Irishman,” “1917” “Bombshell” and “Frozen II,” among other films. More than 35 of them attended the party.

During the reception, as servers passed sweet potato fries, mini-sandwiches and canapés of avocado toast, actress Janina Gavankar of “Blindspotting” and the soon-to-be-released “The Way Back” said, “The more women we have behind the camera, the faster things will change for all of us.”

Mj Rodriguez
Mj Rodriguez at Women in Film’s Oscars celebration for female nominees.
(Emma McIntyre / Getty Images)

The 200 by-invitation guests also included actors Connie Britton, Dove Cameron, Beanie Feldstein, Nikki Reed, Xosha Roquemore, Lake Bell, Logan Browning, Caitriona Balfe, Kyra Sedgwick, Mj Rodriguez, Lydia Hearst, Madeline Brewer, Hari Nef, Zoe Lister-Jones, Anika Noni Rose and Angelique Cabral.

Also in the mix were 11-time Oscar-nominated songwriter Diane Warren, three-time Oscar-nominated costume designer Arianne Phillips; three-time Oscar winning costume designer Sandy Powell; fashion designer Rachel Roy; WIF L.A. board president Amy Baer; and WIF L.A. executive director Kirsten Schaffer.


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