Hairspray (1988) Poster



The role of Velma Von Tussle was originally offered to Mamie Van Doren.
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Ricki Lake began rapidly losing weight due to the intense dance lessons she had to take for the film. She reportedly had to "eat like crazy" in order to stay plump.
In Rachel Sweet's title song "Hairspray", Deborah Harry has an uncredited verse in the song. When Sweet sings "Hey girl, what you doing over there?", Harry sings the response "Can't you see? I'm spraying my hair!"
John Waters' first PG-rated film.
A scene was filmed where Tracey finds cockroaches in her hair. It was based on an urban legend about a girl whose brain is eaten by cockroaches that were living in her beehive hairdo. While it never made it into the final cut, it explains all the references to roaches in the latter part of the film.
The von Tussles are quoting George Wallace when they say, "Segregation today, segregation tomorrow, segregation forever!"
"Tilted Acres" was based on "Gwynn Oak Amusement Park" in Baltimore County, MD, where racial problems occurred. The scenes were shot at Dorney Park in Allentown, Pennsylvania.
The role of Edna Turnblad was originally written for famed transsexual Christine Jorgensen. However, when the role of Tracy had to be rewritten, John Waters also rewrote the role of Edna in order to keep his friend and muse Divine in the production.
Remade on the Broadway stage in 2002 as a musical starring Harvey Fierstein (and later, Bruce Vilanch, Michael McKean and John Pinette) in the role of Edna Turnblad (played in the film by Divine) and Marissa Jaret Winokur in the role of Tracy Turnblad (played in the film by Ricki Lake) The musical opened at the Neil Simon Theater on August 15, 2002 and ran for 2641 performances.
Edna Turnblad says that "The times, they are a-changin'. Something's blowin' in the wind." Both lines are quotes from Bob Dylan songs.
The book Beatnik Chick (Pia Zadora) starts to read from is Alan Ginsberg's 'Howl'.
There was a scene filmed, but cut, where, prior to her Corny Collins audition, Tracy breaks into Amber's house, destroys Amber's room, and dyes her hair blonde. This scene explains why Tracy's hair changes from brown to blonde between scenes.
While Negro Day is a pivotal element of all three versions of "Hairspray", it's never seen in this movie or the stage musical.
John Waters cast Pia Zadora because he was impressed with her performance in Voyage of the Rock Aliens (1984).


Buddy Deane:  The model for Corny Collins appears as a Governor's Mansion newsman.

Director Cameo 

John Waters:  the psychiatrist.

See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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