From the 25-year-old understudy-made-star to the two-time Tony Award winner to the leading television actor, Sutton Foster has built a career for the books. On the December 11 installment of CBS This Morning, reporter Mo Rocca took viewers on a retrospective of Foster’s life and career thus far.
Her breakout in Thoroughly Modern Millie, for which she won her first Tony, was as surprising to Foster as anyone. As she told Rocca, when director Michael Mayer called to offer her the role full time (not just the understudy), she replied through tears at the time. “’Why are you making a mistake?’ I think I said that, like ‘Why would you take a risk on me?’”
But still, Foster had confidence after her initial shock. “One of the things I’m most proud of is that the opportunity came and I was ready," she said, “meaning I was prepare, I knew my stuff, I worked really hard and I stepped in.”
Born and raised in Georgia, Foster dove in to musical theatre at a young age, wowing local crowds as the red-headed orphan in Annie and impressing TV audiences on Star Search. (CBS uncovered clips of both.)
Foster won her second Tony as Reno Sweeney in Anything Goes, and said “every night I thought my face was going to explode,” of her show-stopping eight-minute tap number. As a triple threat, it’s tough to know which skill Foster is best known for; but Foster herself feels that acting is the most important of the three. “Singing without acting is just noise. Dancing without acting is just arm movement,” she said.
Now, Foster plays Off-Broadway in The New Group’s production of Sweet Charity and on TVLand’s Younger—two characters to which she viscerally relates. “Charity is desperate to be saved,” said Foster. “I know because I think I have been her, but luckily I don’t think I’m her now.”
The expose does touch on Foster’s personal life—her divorce from two-time Tony winner Christian Borle and her marriage to now-husband Ted Griffin. (She and Borle recently worked on the Gilmore Girls reboot together.)
In this new chapter, she relates more to Liza, her character on Younger.
“I’m a little Polyanna. I look at the world with rose-colored glasses,” said Foster. “I’m very hopeful in a lot of ways still a little naïve.”
Watch the full interview below: