Hairspray (2007) Poster



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Amanda Bynes' character, Penny, is seen constantly eating lollipops. Bynes' father, who is a dentist, became very worried for her dental health, as it was estimated she ate about 40 lollipops a day. She told him that she wasn't really eating all of them, when in reality she ate them all.
This film brings together John Travolta who starred in Grease (1978), and Michelle Pfeiffer who starred in Grease 2 (1982). One day, while the cast was waiting between takes, Travolta began singing "Summer Nights". Co-stars Amanda Bynes and Zac Efron were so excited that they immediately began sending text messages to their friends about what was happening.
It took John Travolta four hours to put on the 30-pound fat suit and 5 gel-filled silicone face prosthetics to become Edna Turnblad.
Nikki Blonsky revealed on the May 16, 2007 edition of The Oprah Winfrey Show (1986) that when she entered the studio on the first day, John Travolta had said to her, "Come to Momma".
Most of the cast jokingly called "You Can't Stop the Beat" "you can't stop to breathe" because of its pace and fast-moving lyrics. Queen Latifah said she had no trouble singing a lot of words very quickly because of her background as a rapper.
Adam Shankman made Zac Efron make out with the picture frame in the "Without Love" sequence for over an hour.
Amanda Bynes' pigtails took two hours in hair and make-up every morning.
Aretha Franklin auditioned for the role of Motormouth Maybelle, but lost out to Queen Latifah.
After Penny and Seaweed fall in love, she sings, "And if they try to stop us, Seaweed/We'll call the N-double A-C-P." Until the Supreme Court's 1967 decision in Loving v. Virginia, interracial marriage was illegal in 17 states, including Maryland. In 1962 Baltimore, Seaweed and Penny's relationship was illegal.
Penny Pingleton's dress in the "You Can't Stop the Beat" song was made from the curtains in her room.
Film debut of Nikki Blonsky, who celebrated her 18th birthday with her family and friends while on the set of this movie.
Adam Shankman offered the role of Link Larkin to Zac Efron after seeing him in High School Musical (2006).
Meryl Streep and Madonna were considered for the role of Velma Von Tussle.
With $27.5 million, this had the best opening ever for a movie musical until Mamma Mia! (2008).
When Prudy Pingleton reads the Bible out loud to herself, she reads Genesis 19:30-38, in which Lot's daughters get their father drunk and then conceive children with him.
Costume designer Rita Ryack actually got vintage outfits for some of the characters to wear during a number of the scenes shot in the high school. Link Larkin's blue sweater was a sweater vest found at a vintage shop.
According to Film Journal International, the song "Big, Blonde and Beautiful (Reprise)" was added in as at the suggestion of Michelle Pfeiffer to replace a scripted scene, giving her the chance to sing.
Amber is the only blonde among The Nicest Kids In Town.
It wasn't until halfway through production that Michelle Pfieffer realized that her character was racist. She became worried about what people would think, but director Adam Shankman calmed her down and she continued the movie.
Billy Crystal and Jim Broadbent were both considered for the role of Wilbur Turnblad.
Elijah Kelley had to go through an hour of hair dressing every day.
Actor Dermot Mulroney plays cello on the soundtrack along with the Hollywood Studio Orchestra.
To facilitate filming for the "Run and Tell That" dance number, the production cut up a 1957 GMC transit bus into 9 pieces.
The first time a John Waters story made into a movie was not filmed in his hometown of Baltimore, Maryland; Toronto, Canada was used instead.
John Travolta had input on the fat suit. He wanted it to look more realistic than normal fat suits.
Season 3 American Idol (2002) runner up Diana DeGarmo auditioned to play Penny Pingleton but did not get the part because she was "too short". She is, however, in the Broadway show.
Robin Williams was considered for the role of Edna Turnblad
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The creative team modified several songs from the Original Broadway production, removed others, and added some new songs. "Mama, I'm a Big Girl Now", a number performed in the stage musical by Tracy, Penny, and Amber opposite their respective mothers, was reluctantly cut from the script during pre-production - but was sung over the credits by all three "original" Tracys (Ricki Lake, Marissa Jaret Winokur, and Nikki Blonsky). While the crew liked the song, screenwriter Leslie Dixon felt the number did not adequately advance the plot, and would also be impossible to film without a three-way split screen, which neither she nor director Adam Shankman wanted to use. "It Takes Two", sung in the stage musical by Link to Tracy during her first day on "The Corny Collins Show", was moved to an earlier scene in the film; Link sings it just before Tracy learns that the TV station will be holding auditions for a new Council Member. However, only the song's coda remains in the final release. "Cooties", performed by Amber at the climactic "Miss Teenage Hairspray" pageant in the stage musical, is an instrumental during the pageant contestants' dance-off. "Mama" and "It Takes Two" are also instrumentals during scenes featuring broadcasts of "The Corny Collins Show". A reprise of "Big, Blond, and Beautiful", sung by Velma and Edna, was added to the film as part of a new subplot involving Velma Von Tussle's attempt to seduce Tracy's father Wilbur. "I Can Wait", a climactic ballad written for the film, was to have been performed by Tracy as she is hiding out in Penny's basement. The sequence was cut from the final release print. "The New Girl in Town" was written for the stage musical, dropped during the workshopping stage, resurrected, and used in this film to underscore Tracy's rise-to-fame montage, and to show "The Corny Collins Show" on Negro Day. "Ladies' Choice", performed by Link at a school dance, was added to replace "The Madison", a dance number carried over into the stage musical from Hairspray (1988). "Come So Far (Got So Far to Go)" was written for the film for use during the closing credits.
While rehearsing "Miss Baltimore Crabs", Michelle Pfeiffer didn't to take breaks in between and keep rehearsing where the dancers did.
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The "Nicest Kids in Town" are: Amber Von Tussle, Brad, Tammy, Fender, Brenda, Sketch, Shelley, IQ, Lou-Ann, Joey, Mickey, Vicki, Becky, Bix, Jessie, Darla, Paulie, Noreen, Doreen, Link Larkin and (when Brenda leaves) Tracey Turnblad.
The soundtrack for the new "Hairspray" features a rendition of all of the "original" Tracys (Ricki Lake from the first film, Marissa Jaret Winokur from the Broadway cast, and Nikki Blonsky from this film) singing "Mama, I'm A Big Girl Now". Harvey Fierstein appears near the end, but he isn't credited.
In a classroom scene, a teacher mentions that Everest is not Earth's highest geographical point. She asks what the actual highest point is, and the bell rings. The answer is Mt. Chimborazo in Ecuador, which is the furthest point from the Earth's center, but closer to local sea level than Everest. (The Earth bulges at the equator.) However, as the movie is set in 1962, and the analysis that led to Mt. Chimborazo being described that way was performed recently, it is extraordinarily unlikely that's what the teacher is referring to. Also, by the measurement that lists Mt. Chimborazo is highest, Everest is not 2nd, but 10th. Almost certainly, the reference is to K2, which is a point of contention.
Hayden Panettiere was considered for the role of Amber Von Tussel.
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Arvin Hodgepile and Franklin von Tussle, two characters from the 1988 film, do not appear in this version. The actors who played them died: Divine in 1988 and Sonny Bono in 1998.
Hairspray marks the second film Michelle Pfeiffer and Christopher Walken have starred in together. The first being Batman Returns (1992).
Four songs were written for the film, but didn't make the final cut: "I Can Wait" (the only one filmed, available on Special Edition DVD), "Mrs. Von Tussle Says" (meant to replace Miss Baltimore Crabs), "Save Your Applause 'Till The End" (Velma follows Tracy around, complaining), and "Turn Back The Hands of Time" (Original "Come So Far"). All 4 songs are on the 2-Disc Special Edition Soundtrack.
The original Broadway production of "Hairspray" opened at the Neil Simon Theater on August 15, 2002, ran for 2,642 performances and won the 2003 Tony Awards for the Best Musical, Best Book and Best Score. It is Broadway's 21st longest running show ever (February 2013). Cast included Marissa Jaret Winokur (Tracy), Harvey Fierstein (Edna), Clarke Thorell (Corny Collins), Laura Bell Bundy (Amber), Matthew Morrison (Link), Kerry Butler (Penny), Linda Hart (Velma), Dick Latessa (Wilbur), Corey Reynolds (Seaweed) and Mary Bond Davis (Motormouth Maybelle).
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The character played by Sonny Bono in the original film does not appear in this film, but the part was the husband of the Michelle Pfeiffer character. Pfeiffer previously appeared in The Witches of Eastwick (1987) with Bono's first wife, Cher.
This 2007 film, from director Adam Shankman, is an adaptation (or remake) of the 1988 film by John Waters. The Broadway musical version of Hairspray opened to rave reviews in 2002; it played over 2,500 performances, finally closing seven years later. A book, by Tony award-winning librettists Mark O'Donnell and Thomas Meehan, was published in 2003.
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Edna (John Travolta's character) says "Look, if you want to be famous, learn how to take blood outta car upholstery". This is a reference to Pulp Fiction (1994), when John Travolta's character (Vince) accidentally shoots Marvin in Jules' ('Samuel L. Jackson' qv) car. They have to take the car to Jules' friend and call in the Wolf (a man who deals with big problems) to help them clean up the mess all over them and the car. Needless to say, Travolta's character had to clean blood out of car upholstery.
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The film takes place in Baltimore in 1962.
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John Travolta and Christopher Walken previously co-starred in Pulp Fiction (1994) as Vince Vega and Captain Koons, respectively.
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Jerry Stiller:  Wilbur Turnblad in Hairspray (1988), now appears as Mr. Pinky.
Ricki Lake, Adam Shankman, Marc Shaiman, Scott Wittman:  William Morris talent agents in the finale - note Shaiman's very out of character and period beard.
John Waters:  The flasher in the opening 'Good Morning Baltimore' sequence.


The trivia items below may give away important plot points.

The song "You Can't Stop the Beat" was changed for the movie version. When it is performed off Broadway, the last verse is sung by Velma and Amber von Tussel, providing a form of redemption for the villainous characters. This does not happen in the movie. The Broadway lyrics are: "Ever since we first saw the sun/It seems von Tussel girls are always tryin' to please someone/But now we're gonna shake and shimmy it/And have some fun, today!" In the movie, the rest of the characters sing this version of the line: "Ever since we first saw the sun/a man and woman liked to shake it when the day is done/And so I'm going to shake and shimmy and have some fun today."
Originally Michelle Pfeiffer's character, Velma von Tussle, is arrested at the end of the film, but the director decided to cut that scene out.
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Despite having top billing, Allison Janney has less than three minutes of screen time as Prudy Pingleton.
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