Access Rising Star: ‘Hairspray’s’ Nikki Blonsky

Nikki Blonsky’s friends thought she was heading off to college in the fall when the 18-year-old gave them a supreme surprise instead. The teen told her pals she’d nabbed the lead in the adaptation of the Broadway musical “Hairspray.”

Now, in our Access Rising Star series, it’s your turn to find out more about the girl who was pluckedfrom obscurity in Great Neck, NY to become this summer’s newest big screen scene-stealer as “Hairspray’s” beloved dancing teen queen, Tracy Turnblad!

Blonsky, a 4’10” girl from a small town, was always a fan of the John Waters musical. She starred in a host of theatrical productions at her high school, but the part she really latched on to and identified with was the one she hadn’t yet played. “I was picked on, made fun of just like Tracy because of my weight, because of my size, because I was different,” Blonsky recently told the NY Times.

Though she auditioned for the Broadway version of the musical, longing to give her take on Tracy to the world, she was sadly, shot down. Trolling the Internet one day not long after, the wannabe actress stumbled across an ad looking for auditions tapes from potential new Tracy’s for the big screen adaptation of the teen’s tale.

She was perfect for the role of the big boned and big-hearted Tracy the movie studio decided. Having found their girl — just over a year ago, they dispatched a crew to Blonsky’s place of business – scooping delicious deserts at a Cold Stone Creamery to give her the news.

“I probably looked like an exorcism or something. I fell back and I was like screaming,” Blonsky told Access of the moment.

These days instead of coming home with sticky shirts and smelling of gooey, ice cream goodness, Blonsky spends her time talking to the press about her new role and hanging out with screen superstars.

“A year ago in June… I got the part so it’s about my one year anniversary and it’s pretty awesome that a year ago I was scraping dried ice cream off of a countertop and now I’m sitting next to John Travolta,” she said.

Another thing that’s come along thanks to her dream part? Nikki’s face and figure have been immortalized in plastic on a “Hairspray doll.”

“It’s incredible,” she enthused. “I was telling John earlier that growing up I always went into Toys “R” Us to look for Barbie dolls and there was only one type of doll. Barbies are all thin, and to finally see a plus size doll that maybe other little plus size kids can relate to… instead of something that’s totally far fetched and doesn’t look like them at all [is wonderful].”

From that statement, you can tell, this Access Rising Star has her feet firmly planted in reality. And, John Travolta agrees.

“Nikki is so stable as a human being and so logical that I don’t worry about her really,” he told Access. “She was brought up really well, she has her values and she has her ethical thinking and I think all of that helps in a town that’s basically begging you do the opposite . . .Nikki is too grounded to have to worry about so I don’t really worry about Nikki. I think she’ll be fine.”

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