Hairspray’s Nikki Blonsky knew she was destined to play Tracy Turnblad at some point in her life, but it took the 18-year-old about two years to finally get her wish.
Now, with the camp movie musical raking in the dollars around the world, the girl is a bona fide star with a camp following in almost every corner of the world.
“I saw Hairspray on Broadway when I was 16 and I absolutely fell in love with it. Then I auditioned for the show but they didn’t cast me because I was too young,” Blonsky said.
“At 17 I saw that they were auditioning for the movie and I went through five-and-a-half-months of call-backs and I still can’t believe that they cast me.”
Nikki was serving up scoops of ice-cream in New York on the day she heard the news that would change her life.
“They came in with cameras to my part-time job. I was working at the Cold Stone Creamery and that’s when I was told I had the part,” she said.
“My friends at work were so excited that they were crying and screaming just as much as I was. You can even watch the video on YouTube.
“Now I have my own flavour, called the Tracy Turnblad Twist. It’s cotton candy ice-cream, with rainbow sprinkles, marshmallows and Gummi Bears. I go in every time I’m in New York and get ice-cream from my buddies.”
But fame hasn’t affected the sprightly movie star – even counting some of Hollywood’s biggest names among her closest friends these days hasn’t gone to her head.
“Meeting John [Travolta] for the first time was incredible. He opened his arms and said, ‘Come to Mama,’” Blonsky said.
“Everything you see that John and I did was purely our characters doing what they would naturally do.
“Christopher Walken was so beautifully welcoming. Queen Latifah took me on as her little sister. She was my mentor and I looked to her for everything.”
But those names aside, Blonsky also got to work with gay film icon John Waters.
“He was on set for only one day, but I got to work with him that whole day and he came for all our premieres and having his support and his blessing really was the final key for us,” she said of the iconic director.
Hairspray is his baby, he conjured it up and it’s his world. So for him to let us take it on and do our own thing with it and to know he enjoyed our version was so exciting.”
Hairspray is in cinemas now.

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