Hairspray: How Nikki Blonsky Got Cast As Tracy Turnblad


Rubin: AND THE KEY TO CASTING
IS BEING OPEN. YOU CAN HAVE
SOME PRECONCEIVED NOTIONS, AND IT’S IMPORTANT
TO LEAVE THOSE AT THE DOOR AND BE OPEN
TO WHAT WALKS IN THE ROOM. AND THAT’S WHEN
DISCOVERY HAPPENS. ♪♪ OPEN CALLS IS REALLY
THE PUREST FORM OF CASTING BECAUSE IT’S SEPARATE FROM
THE PRESSURES OF HOLLYWOOD. WHEN YOU DECIDE
THAT THERE IS A CHARACTER THAT COULD BE A FRESH FACE, THAT’S MUSIC
TO A CASTING DIRECTOR’S EARS. I MEAN, THERE’S A VERY FAMOUS
CASTING SEARCH THAT TOOK PLACE
FOR “GONE WITH THE WIND.” THE BOOK WAS
SO ENORMOUSLY POPULAR, DAVID O. SELZNICK DECIDED
THAT RATHER THAN GO TO THE USUAL SUSPECTS
TO STAR AS SCARLETT O’HARA, HE WOULD CONDUCT A NATIONWIDE
OR A WORLDWIDE SEARCH. AND IT CREATED A LOT OF BUZZ
FOR THE MOVIE AND CREATED A NUMBER
OF POSSIBILITIES FOR THE FILM. THE LEADING CHARACTER
IN “HAIRSPRAY” IS AN OVERWEIGHT TEENAGE GIRL. NOW, WHEN WE STARTED
THAT PROCESS, WE SAT DOWN AND THOUGHT,
“ALL RIGHT, LET’S MAKE A LIST OF ALL OF THE OVERWEIGHT
TEENAGE MOVIE STARS,” AND THAT WAS A LIST OF ZERO, AND WHAT FOLLOWED
WAS A SERIES OF OPEN CALLS ALL AROUND THE COUNTRY. THERE WERE EASILY 300 TO 500
PEOPLE AT EVERY CITY, AND IT WAS
A TREMENDOUS OPPORTUNITY FOR TALENTED, YOUNG ACTRESSES
TO BE SEEN, PARTICULARLY ACTRESSES OF A TYPE
THAT ARE OFTEN MARGINALIZED. AS IT TURNS OUT, A VIDEOTAPE
THAT WE RECEIVED VERY EARLY ON WAS FROM A 16- OR 17-YEAR-OLD
GIRL FROM LONG ISLAND WHO WAS WORKING AT AN ICE-CREAM
SHOP, AT A COLD STONE CREAMERY. SHE HAD SEEN “HAIRSPRAY”
MANY TIMES. SHE PERFORMED
REALLY BEAUTIFULLY. AND THIS WAS AT THE VERY START
OF OUR SEARCH. THIS WAS A ROLE THAT REQUIRED
HER TO SHARE THE SCREEN WITH JOHN TRAVOLTA,
MICHELLE PFEIFFER, AND CHRISTOPHER WALKEN AND TO
REALLY BE A TRIPLE THREAT — A SINGER, A DANCER, AN ACTRESS. YOU NEVER QUITE TRUST THAT
VERY FIRST PERSON THAT YOU SEE THAT YOU THINK,
“THIS MIGHT BE IT,” BUT YOU ALSO HAVE TO
TRUST YOUR INSTINCT THAT KEEPS BRINGING YOU BACK
TO THAT PERSON. EIGHT MONTHS LATER, WE MADE THE DECISION
THAT NIKKI BLONSKY WAS THE ONE. AND THEY SAID TO HER,
“WE’RE NEARLY DECIDED, BUT WE HAVE ONE MORE STEP
IN THE PROCESS.” SO THEY SET UP A CAMERA
AT THE COLD STONE CREAMERY, AND THEY OPENED UP A LAPTOP, AND IT WAS THE DIRECTOR
OF THE FILM, ADAM SHANKMAN. Shankman: HEY, NIKKI. I THINK THAT YOU SHOULD
PROBABLY, YOU KNOW, MAKE YOURSELF A BIG ICE-CREAM
CONE, BECAUSE YOU GOT THE PART. Blonsky: [ SCREAMING ] Rubin: AND IT WAS ONE OF
THOSE GREAT HOLLYWOOD MOMENTS, BECAUSE SHE HAD PARTICIPATED
EARLY ON. THERE WAS SILENCE
FOR A GOOD LENGTH OF TIME AS WE SCOURED THE COUNTRY. AND FOR SOMEBODY TO COME OUT
FROM BEHIND THE COUNTER AT AN ICE-CREAM STORE AND LAND THAT ROLE IN A BIG
HOLLYWOOD MUSICAL WAS BIG NEWS AND REALLY SATISFYING
FROM A CASTING STANDPOINT.

43 thoughts on “Hairspray: How Nikki Blonsky Got Cast As Tracy Turnblad

  1. When i saw nikki in hairspray for the first time i was like how can you hate her nobody can hate her she is such a cutie😍😍😍😍❤️

  2. It really disappoints me that she wasn't included in all the hype for Hairspray live the way Marissa Jarret Winouker and Rikki Lake were. Just because the 2007 movie's plot doesn't match the plot of the 1988 movie or the original Broadway production doesn't mean it wasn't just as good as the two because, in my opinion, it was. I LOVED the 2007 movie. It was the movie that constantly played on repeat in my house for the entirety of 2008.
    And Nikki was the first Tracy I was exposed to, and she was just as much Tracy as Marisa and Rikki and Maddie Ballio will be.

    I just wished they included her in the hype for Hairspray Live because she deserved to be.

  3. She totally deserved that! Can't picture anyone taking that role and bringing that character to live with as much charisma, energy and just all around awesomeness that Nikki did. She is a true work of art and no one can say any different ❤️👌🏻🙌🏼👸🏻

  4. Even for Hairspray live they got a new actor from off the streets (not literally, but she's brand new, since they said "introducing…". It was her debut)

  5. she made the role come alive. it's sucks that hollywood is such a piece of shit and doesn't want to hire an overweight women unless it has to specifically do with just that, being overweight. she is so talented.

  6. She seems so nice! I want to be her best friend! Lol. I love her. And her reaction to getting the part of Tracy…priceless. 😂

  7. Nikki blonsky you done me proud u were the perfect pick for tracy turnblad awesome and a perfect pick for zac efron character link larkin smitten with

  8. I hope some day I get to thank Nikki for all she’s done for me. Watching Hairspray for the first time as a kid was such a life-changing moment; it was the first time I ever saw a girl who looked like me singing, dancing and being fabulous. It made me realise that I could do all of that too.

  9. So what nikki blonsky is pleasantly plump remember she's under 5 ft and weighs 71 kg which is over 11 St which sure is overweight for height but honestly I've seen bigger but she's beautiful person inside and out and that's what matters

  10. They should do a reunion for hairspray and make a movie out of it like, another hairspray 2 or something cause I'm obsessed with hairspray

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