HilaryNews: How did you get involved with the show, Legally Blonde The Musical: The Search for Elle Woods?
Haylie: They sent the episode break down to my agent, and I read it over. Having done Hairspray, it really meant a lot. I felt a real emotional connection to it.
What was your best experience on the show?
Oh, I just loved all of it. I think I’d have to say that [the best thing was] being Executive Producer on the show - that aspect of it. Learning. Figuring out what to do with the girls in each episode and watching the girls grow from episode to episode. It was an amazing experience.
What would viewers be most surprised to know about what happened behind the scenes during the filming of the show?
I think people would be surprised to know that it’s really a 24 hour show. The girls are on camera every hour, from when they get up to eat breakfast to when they go to sleep. It’s a lot of pressure on top of the training (the music and the dance). It was a lot more than I expected too.
You have to be ready to go at the drop of a hat. To go diffuse a situation: a fight or anything. I really didn’t expect that. It’s a full-time job.
Did you have an immediate favorite for the new Elle Woods?
Yes, though it’s terrible to say. We all started out with favorites - the director, and the judges. We all had different favorites, though, which was weird. So, we would battle behind the monitors where the girls couldn’t see us, "My girl was better in this workshop! And my girl was better in this one!"
However, with more and more girls going home, it was hard to keep favorites. Girls don’t do well in some things, and some girls really shone in some workshops.
Tell me a little bit about your Broadway experience, for Hairspray.
Oh, it was wonderful. I loved it. What can I say? It was awesome.
How is it working on Broadway, versus television or movies?
Cast members are so close [on Broadway]. It really becomes a united team effort. Isabel Keating, who played my mom on the show, is a Tony Award Winning actress. She really was amazing to work with. She’s so aware of her body, of her voice and her movements. I once told her that she is everything that someone aspires to be.
I learned a lot about myself on the show - what I was able to do and how hard I could push myself. I didn’t know if I could do theater before this, it was my first show.
Do you think you’ll return to Broadway in the future?
I would love to. It was so amazing.
If you could return to Broadway for any show or role, what would you choose?
Oh, that’s a hard question. I’d love to be in Chicago, or in Spring Awakening. Or in the new one, Cry-Baby.
Yeah, I heard about that. That’d be a great one.
I’d love to be Allison in Cry-Baby, that would be my top choice I think. I think I drove Bernard Telsey, who was one of our judges, crazy on the set. I’d come in every day and mention something about Cry-Baby, asking when the casting would be. I’d love to be Allison.
I would also love to do Jersey Boys, but I don’t think there’s a role that’s right for me.
You have quite a number of movies coming up, with a few hopefully scheduled to come out in 2008. Could you tell us a little about them?
Sure. There is Backwoods, a tv movie on Spike tv coming out on the 8th. It’s a thriller, my first. It was very different, at the time, to do.
I was spoiled on 7th Heaven. I was so comfortable with my character, with the cast and with the crew. And then in this I would have to be terrified and running - it was a very physical role. It was fun to do.
I’ve also just finished another thriller called Deep Cove, which we filmed in Vancouver.
Oh really, was it actually filmed in Deep Cove? I grew up there!
Yeah, we filmed in Deep Cove.
Did you try the donuts from Honey’s?
No, we looked and saw them, but were trying to be healthy. It was so hard!
Yeah, the best donuts in the city. You should try them next time you’re here. So, is the movie actually set in Deep Cove, or are they pretending it to be somewhere else in the world?
That’s a good question, I’m not sure. It was filmed there, as Deep Cove, but I don’t know much more about that.
Do you want to talk more about any other movie projects coming up?
I’m just about to start on a new one, Tugs, which we’ll start filming on the 15th.
Do you have anything more to add about Legally Blonde?
Just watch it! MTV at 10pm!
Great, thanks so much for taking the time to talk with me today.
Thanks Arieanna, it was great talking with you too!