Marissa Jaret Winokur, the actress-singer starring as Tracy Turnblad in Broadway's hit musical, Hairspray , is suddenly Broadway's "It" girl, proving in the industry — and in the show itself — that being an outsider can be a special thing. Does she feel she's a role model for character actors, for chubby girls?
"I definitely feel like I am now and it would be ungracious for me not to say it," Winokur, 29, said in the Sept. 3-9 Playbill On-Line Brief Encounter. "And even more than for character actresses, it's for anyone that's not what they are. That's what our whole show did. It took all the ingenues and made them the sidekicks. My sidekick is Kerry Butler, who played Belle [in Beauty and the Beast], and Laura Bell Bundy, who's a gorgeous blonde, is playing a wacky, crazy role. It took all the girls who play ingenues and let them be characters. The whole show is a total mix up. It's like you got the part pulled out of a hat — 'Okay, I'm the leading lady; you're the wacky sidekick.' As much as I'm going to be a role model for young character actresses or chubby girls or for the person who doesn't really fit in, the show also opened up things for ingenues who look like ingenues, but are also comedians. Granted, my role is more different and more extraordinary — there's never been a role like this ever on Broadway. ...That's part of the fun of this show — you've never seen this before and God knows if you'll ever see it again."
To view the entire interview, click Brief Encounter.