I've got to admit, I'm a sucker for pigtails. Really, any kind of hair tail, but especially the two dangling at the sides. So even though Amanda Bynes is WAYYYY too young for me, seeing her rock the '60s pigtails in Hairspray made me melt. I even told her she should do her hair as such in real life.
Amanda Bynes on Hairspray
"I feel like I’d be mocked," she said. "I could just say, ‘Well, you know, I’m just paying homage to my character,’ but I don’t know. I don’t think I could wear them today. Christopher Walken did say to me one day when I was in hair chair and he was in the hair chair, he goes, "You look like a Play[boy] bunny I once knew.’ I said, ‘Well, really? What was that like?’”
The hair and clothes definitely helped Bynes get into an era from before she was born. "I mean, when you walk in there with your low jeans, you feel kind of 2007. And then you put on the corset and then the 1960s style dresses and then the hair. Even the makeup it’s just different. So I felt as soon as I was all made up I felt like, ‘Wow, I feel kind of like a young girl in the 60s.’ And so you sort of do kind of start to get into that mode. And everybody is dressed like that. The guys are wearing these slacks that are tight and not hanging off of their butt, and it was very different. It was fun."
The multi-talented Bynes adds dancing to her repertoire with the movie musical and its showstopping ensemble numbers. "For us it was a part of the audition. I remember I first auditioned and I sang a song from the musical. And then the second audition I had to sing a song and I had to learn a dance, which I ended up not even being in that number. But they put me through the hardest dance training. I remember it was really hard to memorize. It was not only like legwork but you had to do like matching arm things, and I’m not even in that number. But it was intense. And then during the movie we trained by dancing all the time."
That's a lot of commitment for a supporting role. Bynes plays Tracy Turnblad (Nikki Blonsky)'s best friend Penny Pingleton. "When I found out that they were making this into a movie, I at first didn’t think I was right for Penny. My sister, who’s going to be a teacher but she’s also been doing plays her whole life and is an actress too, I was like, ‘Why don’t you audition for this movie?’ I thought this would be a good role for her because she’s taller than I am. So I gave her the audition info and she auditioned. Then when they called they were like, ‘Well, no, we still want you to audition.’ So I was like, ‘Wow, really? I’m not even really a dancer.’ And so I first got online and I downloaded the songs. I started to really listen to the music and I started into it. I was like, ‘Okay, you know what? I like the message of this movie. I like that it’s a good message for young girls that it doesn’t matter what you weigh or what the color of your skin is.’ And so I started to really want to be a part of it. And then I went on my audition and then finally I got the part."
After a number of starring vehicles, Bynes was happy to just play her part in a bigger picture. "That was another reason why I wanted to be in this movie because even though I have a substantial part I felt like it was not about me. It was fun to play a fun, quirky part in a big ensemble movie. So there was definitely much less pressure and I had days off. That was very exciting."
Hairspray opens to theatres on July 20th.
For the trailers, stills and more movie info, go to the Hairspray
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