The cast of the new Cinderella reboot crammed into a minivan on Wednesday night (Sept. 8) for a very special episode of “Carpool Karaoke” that included a breakdown of embarrassing awards show moments, runs through their favorite ABBA and Frozen covers and a discussion of pre-date jitters.
Star Camila Cabello, properly dressed in an enormous pink gown with a train that nearly filled up the whole back seat, suggested off the bat that the whole crew get a bit tipsy on their way to the premiere. That led to the quartet breaking into a spirited run through ABBA’s “Mamma Mia,” complete with some robotic carpool hand jiving.
“Carpool” host and Cinderella co-star James Corden wondered if Cabello ran her lines with boyfriend Shawn Mendes in prep for shooting the recently released Amazon Prime film. Menzel wondered if Mendes was “judgy” about the project, recalling that her ex-husband used to offer a bit too much commentary when they would read scripts together, making her self-conscious.
“No, Shawn was self-conscious running the lines with me and he wasn’t even in the movie,” Cabello laughed, adding “he’s probably more the Cinderella in the relationship than I am.” Corden praised Cabello for writing a song that he called the “centerpiece” of the film, “Million to One,” which they then belted out. She also admitted that before her first date with Mendes she was so nervous she drank two tequila shots and sang Menzel’s “Defying Gravity” to get herself psyched up.
So, of course, they all sang “Gravity” too, with Menzel crushing it as Porter provided supportive ad libs and the whole car busted into Broadway-worthy theatrics between stop signs.
One of the most revealing moments was when Corden asked Menzel to re-live what was perhaps her most cringey public moment: that time John Travolta royally screwed up her name at the 2014 Oscars and mistakenly called her “Adele Dazeem” in front of the whole world.
“First I felt really sorry for myself, like Meryl Streep’s out there, this is my big break and he just f***ed up my name,” Menzel said with a smile, recalling the harrowing eight seconds she had between the moniker mangling and taking the stage in front of the world’s biggest stars. “I was so nervous, I had meditated on this moment, I was gonna sing to my son to put perspective on everything, and then that happened and it all went out the window!”
With the benefit of hindsight, Menzel said Travolta’s flub was actually the “greatest thing that ever happened to me.” She went from a respected Broadway star to an international meme overnight and, as it turns 0ut, it was the beginning of a beautiful friendship. “He’s written so many nice apologetic emails, sent flowers, he’s so kind, and to make up for it he would fly wherever at this point,” Menzel shared. “And I always just say, ‘No worries, because it was the best thing that ever happened to me!'” Plus, she got to belt her show-stopping “Let It Go” with Cabello after Corden and Porter re-created Travolta’s intro and then joined in on the soaring chorus.
The 14-minute segment also found Porter gushing about his dream casting as the fairy godmother in the film, saying that his “14 year-old sissy” self’s biggest dream was to be the male Whitney Houston. “So all I could think of was like, ‘Oh my God, I’m playing the Whitney Houston part!’ It’s really significant because… for a long time I was told my queerness would be my liability.”
But, living long enough to get to the “other side of that mess” and to feel seen by his cast mates and the world was a revelation. “The new representation is a good thing,” Porter said. “It’s been such a wonderful and monumental experience for me.”
Watch the Cinderella gang on “Carpool” below.