Unknown Teen Lands Hairspray Lead
Unknown teenager NIKKI BLONSKY has landed the role of a lifetime - as the chubby star of the HAIRSPRAY movie remake. The 17-year-old New Yorker will play hefty heroine TRACY TURNBLAD in the star-studded new film, in which JOHN TRAVOLTA will play her mother. BILLY CRYSTAL and QUEEN LATIFAH have already signed on for the project, while teen queen AMANDA BYNES will play Turnblad's best pal PENNY PINGLETON. Blonsky is well known in her native Great Neck, where she often performs the National Anthem at local sports meetings, but her biggest role to date is as MARGARET MEAD in the hometown musical HAIR. The actress was discovered during a nationwide casting search to find an unknown to play Turnblad. She'll quit her job as an ice-cream store employee to play the part. RIKKI LAKE played Turnblad in the original 1988 JOHN WATERS film.