By Fred Topel | Image property of New Line Cinema.
It seems like every movie set around high school kids has to have a bitch. There's always some really pretty, but really nasty girl who's so mean you don't even want to do her anymore. Well, in Hairspray, where even the racism is happy and adorable, so is the bitch. Brittany Snow plays dance queen Amber von Tussel who hates that zuftig Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky) is stealing her thunder. But even her whiny nagging is cute.
Brittany Snow on Hairspray
"That’s a very nice compliment," she said. "Of course Hairspray I think it does a very good job of handling all these issues, even as hard as they are, with cuteness, with a little pizzazz, with singing and dancing. And it never takes itself too seriously. But I think with my character I kind of wanted her to be just lost. She’s just misunderstood. She can’t help that she has this crazy mother who’s given her everything she ever wanted. And here this girl comes in that she just doesn’t understand. So I tried to play her definitely bratty but not evil like Michelle [Pfeiffer]. She’s got that covered. She did a good job."
Snow may be a veteran of the '60s, even though she wasn't born yet. "I feel like I’m never leaving the 60s because I did a show called American Dreams that took place from '63-'66. So I spent a long time when I did that TV show researching, going back and looking up things down to what people’s favorite ice cream flavor was. Kind of researching the music which had such a huge part in the change of the '60s and society, and the same thing with this. I feel like I’ve lived in the '60s so much it was definitely part of me."
Of course the '60s were not all songs and dances. Hairspray also deals with the social issues like integration on television, let alone in real life. "I think we’re just honored to be a part of a movie that handles the society and the civil rights movement, and things like that, all the things that were going on in the '60s in such a light-hearted, fun way and still having it be a film about the '60s and what that was all about. We did a little preparation but it was mostly about dancing and singing and to move like the characters and make that very genuine."
It also meant dressing up a little more. "It’s definitely different from today and especially doing Hairspray it’s different because Hairspray had to be in the '60s but also the hair and makeup was a character in itself. It had to be larger than life because it’s a musical and it’s also the John Waters film which was kind of a fake reality. So the hair wasn't exactly very realistic. It was kind of to the max, the person in the '60s who everyone’s like, ‘Wow, I can’t believe they did their hair like that!’ So we spent a lot of time kind of working with my hair and makeup to be a less version of what Michelle was doing. I always wanted to match what she was doing because I felt like my character needed to be the daughter who wanted to be like her mom so much but didn’t quite pull it off."
Hairspray opens to theatres on July 20th.
For the trailers, more interviews, stills and additional movie info, go to the Hairspray