Trivia / Hairspray

  • Acting for Two: Divine played both Edna Turnblad and Arvin Hodgepile. Waters had to give Divine a male role because she was getting sick of doing drag for film roles.
  • Actor Allusion:
    • Face it, Ruth Brown was Motormouth Maybelle.
    • On the 2007 album, during "Nicest Kids in Town," Corny Collins describes them as "The Sugar and Spice-est"
    • In the 2007 film, Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken have a scene where she advances on him sexily, and he tries to stop her by using practical jokes as weapons. It's a deliberate homage to the end of Batman Returns, where they did the same thing as Catwoman and Max Shreck (although Walken used an actual gun in the latter).
    • Brittany Snow actually played a dancer on American Bandstand, the show that the Corny's was based on in American Dreams.
  • All-Star Cast: Played with. The 2007 movie had several all star members (John Travolta, Christopher Walken, Queen Latifah, and Zac Efron to name a few), but these were mostly secondary roles, whereas the main role went to entirely new actress Nikki Blonsky (the 2007 version was her debut as a professional actress).
  • The Cast Showoff: Several members of the cast were picked either because their musical talents were largely unknown to the general public (Marsden, Walken, Bynes) or had simply been forgotten about in recent years (Travolta, Pfeiffer)
  • Casting Gag:
    • 2011 would have Michelle Pfeiffer and Zac Efron star together again, but instead of him dating her daughter, it's her he goes after in New Year's Eve.
    • In the 2007 film, Jerry Stiller plays fashion store owner Mr Pinky. Stiller played Wilbur Turnblad in the original 1988 film. Several other actors from the original and the director appear as well, see "The Cameo".
    • Brittany Snow in the 2007 version essentially fulfilled the same role as Tracy in her show American Dreams except she actually danced on American Bandstand.
    • Marissa Jaret Winokur, Tracy of the musical, and Allison Janney, Mrs Pingleton of the 2007 film, were both in American Beauty - but Janney with the larger part.
  • Cut Song: "The New Girl in Town" was cut from the stage musical, but put into the 2007 film. Some songs from the stage version were cut from the film, too.
  • Dyeing for Your Art: Amanda Bynes ate so many lollipops during filming there were some genuine concerns she might lose her teeth. Rumors place it at around 40 a day. John Travolta's fat suit couldn't have been all that pleasant either.
  • Fan Nickname: Amongst the cast, "You Can't Stop the Beat," due to the intense dancing and fast pace, garnered the nickname "You Can't Stop To Breathe." Queen Latifah, being a rapper, was the only one who had no trouble singing the song.
  • Playing Against Type:
    • An extremely epic one for John Waters. Ironically, this actually led to a lot more controversy due to parents getting such earlier Waters material as Pink Flamingos for their kids, which in at least one case resulted in a 911 call. Yes, Hairspray is for the whole family. Anything else by Waters prior? Not even close!
    • This isn't the only time that Christopher Walken plays a all-around Nice Guy, but they're rare.
    • Brittany Snow's characters, equally, are usually much nicer.
    • During interviews, Divine made it perfectly clear her character was not one of her usual "drag queen" roles. As she put it: "What drag queen would allow herself to look like this? I look like half the women from Baltimore."
  • Production Posse: NBC reunited at least four people behind their critically-acclaimed The Wiz telecast to adapt Hairspray for television: Producers Craig Zadan and Neil Meron (who produce all of the musicals NBC airs during The New Tens, and also did the same for the 2007 Hairspray movie), director Kenny Leon (who collaborated with Zadan and Meron three times before Hairspray), and scriptwriter Harvey Fierstein.
  • Recursive Adaptation: From movie to Broadway musical and back again.
  • Role Reprisal/Written by Cast Member: NBC's version sees Harvey Firestein both reprise the role of Edna Turnblad, and write the teleplay.
  • What Could Have Been: James Marsden beat out his X-Men co-star Hugh Jackman and Joey McIntyre for the part of Corny Collins.
    • Queen Latifah won out over Aretha Franklin.
    • Christopher Walken was chosen over Billy Crystal.
    • Mamie Van Doren was originally picked for Velma in the original film.
    • John Waters wrote a sequel to the 2007 movie titled Hairspray 2: White Lipstick, detailing everyone's struggles to adjust to new music trends of the late 1960s. Plot points he shared included the African-American dancers planning an all-Black music program, Link becoming Fake Brit to attract fans of The Beatles, and Edna losing weight through weight loss pills. New numbers included Link having a Mushroom Samba and singing with his pimples, and Edna gorging back all the weight she lost after learning that Wilbur thinks she looked better when she looked fat.
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