Whatever Happened to Nikki Blonsky?
NBC’s Hairspray Live premieres tonight. I have to be honest I’m surprised they decided to remake Hairspray again (technically) considering the 2007 version is barely 10 years old but I guess they needed a version for the youngsters who don’t even know that John Travolta and Amanda Bynes exist.
Actually, is it me or have most of Hairspray 2007’s cast members careers cooled down A LOT since then? Not only have Amanda Bynes and John Travolta’s personal lives become more publicized than their actual film choices lately (though, in Amanda’s case, that’s because she’s no longer acting anymore) but Christopher Walken and Queen Latifah, who seemed to pop up all the time in theaters back in the 2000’s, seem to have to stuck to doing independent films for the most part and rarely pop up in something that goes to theaters nowadays. Then there’s the star of the movie, Nikki Blonsky. It seemed like she was the next big thing (no pun unintended) but she’s rarely acted since and, when she has, she’s stuck to independent films and TV work. She also started working in a salon. But why didn’t she become more famous?
Well, a little while after Hairspray came out, she did get into a fight at an airport. For those who don’t remember, she and her family went on an airplane where they got into a fight with America’s Next Top Model contestant Bianca Golden and her family. This fight even caused Bianca’s mother to become hospitalized. That probably didn’t help her career, as it probably gave off the impression that she was violent, aggressive, and someone not worth working with.
But I feel like the fight was only half the reason her career stalled. In 2008, only one year after Hairspray, she starred in Queen Sized, which was a Lifetime movie. If Hollywood had been more serious about making her a big star, she probably wouldn’t have turned to doing Lifetime movies so quickly. If anything, she probably would’ve been in another big movie around that time and whether or not the movie did well, coupled with the fight, probably would’ve decided the fate of her career.
Instead, I think the main issue was her weight.
It’s not impossible for more overweight actors to become successful actors, but their usually comedic actors known for playing loud, overbearing characters (Jack Black, Melissa McCarthy, Chris Farley) or they tend to do more supporting parts/star in indie films (Phillip Seymour Hoffman, Margo Martindale, Kathy Bates). Not only that but they are usually adults.
Problem is, Nikki was young when she started. She was in her late teens when she starred in Hairspray and, by the time she would’ve been in her next big movie, she would’ve been 20. Thing is, that would probably limit her movie choices to mostly high school or college roles. But, here’s the thing, how many of those movies really have roles for someone her size? Maybe it’s just me but most movies set in High School or College seem to have mostly skinny, almost model-like attractive people in them. In that case, there would unfortunately not be that many roles for her, at least when it comes to theatrical movies, as she doesn’t fit that type, seeing as she’s not a skinny person. As a result, it probably made her hard to cast in Hollywood because she was too young for the types of roles Phillip Seymour Hoffman or Kathy Bates were given and there’s not really something similar to give people her age to. As a result, it probably made it hard to cast her in Hollywood, because they didn’t really know what roles to give her. Thankfully, she had some options for roles in more independent films and TV but, when it came to more mainstream fare, she didn’t have that many roles to pick from.
Seeing as it’s only been a decade, maybe she will have a comeback and, this time, she’ll get more opportunities to do big films than she did in the past. But, unfortunately, the reason her career didn’t last long last time has to do with the fact that she just doesn’t meet Hollywood’s standards for beauty and, coupled with apparently being a nasty person off screen, it unfortunately effected her career.