Great Neck, NY, teen Nikki Blonsky was still serving scoops at Cold Stone Creamery when she received the news that would change her life forever. An aspiring actress who was once deemed too young to portray dancing Baltimore teen Tracy Turnblad in the Broadway production of Hairspray, the 17-year-old New York Village High School student thought her shot at stardom had slipped away by the time a film version of the hit musical was announced. Instead, a keen-eyed New Line assistant brought Blonsky's audition tape to the attention of producers in charge of the feature adaptation, and the rest, as they say, was history. A camera crew hit the road to capture footage of the finalists for the film role, and director Adam Shankman appeared at Cold Stone to tell Blonsky she'd be strapping on her dancing shoes. Though Blonsky had previously appeared in Great Neck productions of Hair and Alice in Wonderland, she was a virtual unknown at the time she was cast in the role originated by actress Ricki Lake back in 1988.
As the Hairspray hype died down, Blonsky proved her staying power by taking the lead in the 2008 made-for-TV feature Queen Sized, which found her playing the role of a heavy girl who is elected Homecoming Queen as a cruel joke, and starred in Huge, an ABC Family series set in a weight loss camp and centering on a group of teens coming to terms with their bodies.