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BWW Exclusive Interview: Sutton Foster Chats BUNHEADS, Working With 'Bro' Hunter Foster & Returning to Broadway
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Award-winning actor, singer and dancer Sutton Foster portrays Michelle Simms on the ABC Family series BUNHEADS. She has appeared on Broadway in "Grease!," "The Scarlet Pimpernel," "Annie" and "LES MISERABLES," prior to her big break and Tony Award-winning performance in "Thoroughly Modern Millie." Foster has also originated roles in the Broadway productions of "Little Women," "The Drowsy Chaperone," "Young Frankenstein" and "Shrek the Musical." In 2011 she starred in the revival of "Anything Goes," a role that earned her the 2011 Tony, Drama Desk, Outer Critics and Astaire Awards. She has also performed solo shows all across the county and has released two solo albums - "Wish" and "Sutton Foster Live at the Cafe Carlyle."
The multi-talented actress chats exclusively with BWW about the upcoming season of Bunheads, (which features a guest star appearance by her real-life brother, Broadway star Hunter Foster!) and reveals why she hopes to return to Broadway 'sometime soon'!
It was just announced that your brother Hunter was going to be guest starring on Bunheads this season in the role of your fictional brother.
He does! He's playing my brother on the show. We've actually been filming the episodes last week and this week and it's been so awesome to work together and to have him on set. It's really, really cool.
Is this the first time the two of you have worked together?
In this capacity, yes. We did shows when we were kids, like community theater growing up. And then we've kind of overlapped in some shows on Broadway, randomly. He was in 'Les Mis', and then I was coming into 'Les Mis' when he was leaving and I think we overlapped for three performances. And then we did the revival of 'Grease' together back in the '90's that Rosie O'Donnell was in. He was playing Roger and I came in to play Sandy and we did that for like three weeks together on Broadway. But we've never really acted with one another so it's been really cool. The other day I said, 'I don't think I've ever looked at you quite so much in my life!' So it has been like, 'Oh my God, I'm like acting with my brother!', so it's been really, really fun. It's been a really cool opportunity.
Well I'm looking forward to seeing that! Last season, things didn't end on a good note for you and your mother-in-law Fannie, played by the great Kelly Bishop. Is there any hope for your relationship?
I know right, Michelle kind of made a big mess up at the end there. But yeah, heading back from all that this season, there's a bit of a time jump. We have a couple months and we discover that Michelle has left, she's back in Vegas. She left Paradise. I do think that Fannie and her are destined to be in each other's lives. Michelle does eventually come back to Paradise, but how she gets back there is pretty cool.
Great. What about on the romanctic front? Last season there was a brief encounter with the wealthy mystery man Grant who lived on the hill. Will that character return or are there other romantic possibilities for Michelle?
You know what's been interesting, I keep asking Amy [Sherman-Palladino] as far as the romance goes, and there's definitely people that will pop up in Michelle's life. But I think the big priority for Michelle is to find sort of stability without a man. Sort of this idea that maybe that a man was always her answer, that's how she got to Paradise in the first place, she married this guy thinking maybe that would be the answer. And I think before Michelle can really find love, or the idea of love or romance, she has to find herself first. So while I think there will be little flicker of stuff here and there, my hope for her is that her answer doesn't lie in a man. That would just be an added bonus.
Can we hope to see more singing and dancing from you this season?
I was wondering if you may be able to persuade any of your Broadway pals to guest star on the show.
Ahh, it would be so awesome! Even the thought of my brother on there is so cool. Down the road, I have a feeling, the show is beginning to open up in a new direction and that is definitely a possibility. So we'll see. Hopefully more Broadway will start popping up on Bunheads.