The Director's Chair: Adam Shankman's Hairspray Diary #9 has an exclusive look into the making of the movie musical HAIRSPRAY with this special Director's Diary written by Adam Shankman. Check back daily for new entries!

Nikki Blonsky, Nikki Blonsky, WHAT A BEAUTIFUL, BEAUTIFUL NAME

So after an exhaustive search, things are going to turn out exactly how I thought.  It's going to be Nikki Blonsky, the girl from Great Neck, New York, who worked in the Coldstone Creamery.  I couldn't help myself but to keep going back over and over again to her audition on my laptop.  There was something just so honest, so refreshing, so sweet and so genuine that she was in fact, a seventeen year-old girl from a working class family who literally lived to perform and who happened to be beautiful.  Plus size beautiful.  It just was the clincher.  I couldn't get past the fact that she was seventeen.  It's all that I kept obsessing over.  The fact that she had a great voice and a smile that drove me insane with happiness really made it all happen.  

I had her come to Baltimore where Zac danced her, and of course she wasn't the greatest dancer but she was the most exuberant dancer.  She came in and screen tested against our three other candidates who were in the final four, and at the end of the day people were just unwilling to commit to the decision except for me.  I had wavering support and at the end of the day, I went out and it was Nikki and will be forever Nikki.  I had to tape a message that they were going to play for her at Coldstone Creamery in order for her to find out that she got the part.  She's going to die. I hope she doesn't because I need her to knock the rest of the world dead.

More tomorrow with entry #10...

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