Just months before the release of Hairspray, newcomer Nikki Blonsky was a typical 17-year-old girl working at an ice cream shop. Now, she is starring alongside John Travolta, Michelle Pfeiffer and Queen Latifah!
The nationwide search for Hairspray's central character, Tracy Turnblad, took months. After the producers had seen hundreds of actresses, Nikki stole the show. "I called the producers and the studio, actually, and I said, 'I think it's going to be this girl, and she works in an ice cream parlor,'" says Adam Shankman, Hairspray's director.
But instead of just telling Nikki she had the part, the producers decided to surprise her! They told Nikki they were following the final four potential Tracys with a camera, and they began filming her at the ice cream shop. Then, they asked her to watch a videotaped message from Adam. "Hey, Nikki. I think that you should probably, you know, make yourself a big ice cream cone because it's you, honey. You got the part!" he said.
Nikki was so excited, she was screaming! "I'm standing here today because I followed my dreams and my dreams came true," Nikki says.
Nikki says ever since she saw Hairspray for the first time on Broadway when she was 15, she knew she wanted the role of Tracy. "Growing up, I was always happy, but this has just made me the happiest kid in America—I think in the world," she says.
With her newfound success, Nikki says she did one thing to pamper herself. "When I got home, I was so excited. I said, 'I have to do something for myself. I have to buy myself a new bed, because I've had the same bed for 18 years,'" she says.
The first time she walked onto the set, Nikki says she was extremely nervous to meet her famous co-stars—until she saw John Travolta. "I walked into a room and there he stood, and he said, 'Come to Mama!'" she says. "Then I knew it would be amazing."
Acting in Hairspray was also a dream come true for Zac Efron—who starred in the Disney Channel hit movie High School Musical—and Elijah Kelley. Zac says it was amazing to work on Hairspray. "Look at the cast. That's it right there," he says. "I can't believe I was lucky enough to be a part of this film."
Elijah says his parents both quit their jobs in LaGrange, Georgia, so he could move to California to follow his dream of acting. "My dad was like, 'You've got to get a job.' And my mom was like, 'No, we're going to support him,'" he says. "They came together collectively, and a few weeks later we were on a plane with nothing but clothes and faith, out to L.A. to pursue my dream."
Before they say goodbye, the dancers from Hairspray perform "You Can't Stop the Beat." Queen Latifah jokes that the cast calls the song, "You Can't Stop to Breathe," because the dancers go nonstop to the fast, fun song! Enjoy the singing, dancing and wacky fun of Hairspray when it hits theaters July 20, 2007.
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