Huffpost Celebrity

Nikki Blonsky On What Held Her Back After 'Hairspray' (VIDEO)

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In the mid-2000s, Nikki Blonsky was a complete unknown, attending high school and acting in after-school productions in her hometown of Great Neck, N.Y. Then, she was cast as Tracy Turnblad in the 2007 movie musical "Hairspray," starring alongside film legends like John Travolta and Christopher Walken. Success was swift for the young actress, and Blonsky found herself thrust into the Hollywood spotlight. But Blonsky hasn't had a major movie role since then -- a fact she opened up about on a recent episode of "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" From her parents' home in Great Neck, where she lives, Blonsky revealed the immense pressure she felt to continue her "Hairspray"-level success and explains why she didn't dive into another hit film. "They were roles that, to me, didn't match up to Tracy," Blonsky says in the video above. Another factor that may have held Blonsky back after "Hairspray" wrapped, she says, was her weight. "I had so many meetings with people telling me, 'Well, you're so beautiful and you have such a gorgeous face, but maybe if you just lost a little [weight] in your backside...' I'm like, 'Wait, I'm not a Mr. Potato Head doll that you can just put this on and take that off,'" Blonsky says, gesturing. "It doesn't work like that." Also in the above video, Blonsky shares the priceless advice she received from her co-star Travolta and addresses her own feelings about her body. "Maybe someday I will lose those 60 pounds, but if I do, it's going to be for my own reasons. Not because somebody told me to," she says. Below, Blonsky joins "Oprah: Where Are They Now?" executive producers Jill Van Lokeren and Julie Simpson on HuffPost Live for a behind-the-scenes discussion where she reveals dream co-star (an "SNL" alum). "Oprah: Where Are They Now" airs Sundays at 10 p.m. ET on OWN.
Filed by Lisa Capretto