Kristin Chenoweth has shed her usual cheerful demeanor for her role as a no-nonsense corporate mother in the new dark comedy "Family Weekend."
The Tony and Emmy winner (and recent) plays an overly-ambitious mom who gets kidnapped along with her wimpy husband (Matthew Modine) by their 16-year-old daughter ("High School Musical" star Olesya Rulin). The parents are taken hostage over the course of a long weekend because they forgot to attend their teenaged-daughter's competitive jump-roping tournament.
Chenoweth and Rulin sat down with CBSNews.com (watch the video above) to talk about the film and its zany premise:
CBSNEWS.COM: Who would have thought people take jump-roping so seriously?
KRISTIN CHENOWETH: It's a huge sport. Olesya was telling me. I didn't realize.
OLESYA RULIN: Yeah, people travel all around the world for it. It's up there. A big deal.
CHENOWETH: It's crazy. No thanks -- for me. I mean, I obviously watched and supported on the sidelines.
RULIN: I obviously trained to do it. I looked at the team I was training with in Michigan...I haven't picked up a jump rope since. It's not my thing. It's so competitive. You literally give up your life to do it and to go that fast. It's amazing.
CHENOWETH: She was really on point. She just arrived in shape and ready to go. I could not believe it.
CBSNEWS.COM: You were really impressed?
CHENOWETH: I was impressed. And very proud.
RULIN: I tried.
CBSNEWS.COM: What about your character, Samantha, the mother. You seem so different from her.
CHENOWETH: Thank God, right? [Laughs] This is a typical woman of my age where she's having the career...a major career...and also having these children. And I think she feels like her husband isn't carrying the weight. So she's not being the best mom that she can be. I think that she does want to be great, and there's times where she is. But mainly, she fails in this area and that's why she gets kidnapped by her own daughter. And I am happy that she learns.
RULIN: But in Samantha's defense, she doesn't really have an option because she's running around so much.
CHENOWETH: Yeah, I think she's the main breadwinner. So there's MONEY!
RULIN: I mean, yeah. I feel bad for her. Very small. A little bit.
CHENOWETH:[Laughs] I don't want people to feel too bad for her though. Because I really wanted to show -- as much as I could with this dark comedy -- the realistic way a woman has come undone. She's just doing the best she can and its not enough. And how things can change and become better. For the better. And learn. And grow. And evolve, as we all want to do as adults.
CBSNEWS.COM: And your director [Benjamin Epps] -- this was his first feature.
RULIN: I heart Ben. I thought he was great...He was always calm. Sometimes I feel like first-time directors get a little tense.
CHENOWETH: He was so calm!
RULIN: He never let me know what was going on. Which I found lovely because I have a bunch of things going on in here [points to her head] and I'm trying to figure out. He always took time to talk to us and he was very calm. No matter what happened that day. I'm sure he probably went back to his hotel room and was like 'Aggghhh!' But I never saw it.
"Family Weekend" is now playing in theaters and available on VOD (video on demand).