Shes a sassy, Tony-winning belter who holds her own opposite Pamela Anderson on the Fox sitcom Stacked. So its no surprise that we are fans of Marissa Jaret Winokur, who drew national attention when taking on the role of Tracy Turnblad in the Broadway production of Hairspray. We got a minute to gush with the diminutive diva.
Out: So, the gays love you.
Marissa: I love the gays! Theyre the best. If I could have any audience, itd be the gays because theyre loyal forever.
I know it was a while back, but I still remember your Tony acceptance speech, where you said If a 4-foot-11 chubby New York girl can be a leading lady in a Broadway show, and win a Tony, anything can happen!
I didnt thank any of the people I was supposed to thank. I thanked the people I saw and then I was just overcome with emotion. It was crazy. It was completely surreal. I always said that I didnt really beat Bernadette [Peters, who was also nominated]. It was just that the voters really wanted Tracy to win, you know. I think I was fine, and the show was great, but I really think the voters wanted Tracy to continue on with winning. I dont think they even saw Marissa.
Somehow I doubt that. And your speech was empowering for people who feel like outsiders.
Growing up, I personally never felt like I am an outsider, but then while I was doing Hairspray, it was like There are so many people that are discriminated against for being heavy! I never felt like I was, but thats just because Im a crazy girl who thinks of myself as a tall skinny girla tall skinny blonde girl! But doing Hairspray really showed me that there are so many young girls and so many gay men and any minority that were writing me letters. I didnt set out to be a role model at all.
Lets talk a little about Stacked, where Pamela Anderson works at a bookstore.
I pretend to make coffee on Stacked, which is pretty weird. I learned how to use the machine, but then once we started shooting, I am not allowed to use the machine because it makes too much noise. So I literally go back there and I pretend to press buttons and I feel like a total asshole. I am totally miming it. All week long, I have fun with the cast and I totally go in their scenes and I, like, sit down with Christopher Lloyd. When its camera-blocking day, theyre like, Oh, no. You cant go over there because youre blocking the camera. So Im like, Ill just go stand behindand make coffee. Camera-blocking day is my least favorite day. The cast is so much fun. I have such a great time with Pamela. Shes everything you want her to be. Her clothes are always cool and she just wears white all the timeand shes so nice and no crazy entourage. She so doesnt have that in her life, which I would expect her to have and she doesnt. She is always doing something for some foundation.
Pamelas also got quite a gay following.
I want to be her Everybody wants to be her! I cant imagine a gay man out there thats not like, Wait, I want to be Pamela Anderson. I do, too. Shes amazing; shes absolutely amazing.
And what do you have coming up?
I want to be doing more romantic comedies where Im the romantic lead. Thats what were in the process of developing. I didnt realize how long things take. Things are always developing. I think Stacked is a lot of fun and I love working on it, but I want to be doing good old-fashioned romantic comedies with me doing the lead girl and not having to do with weight.
Would you do another Broadway show?
If there were another show, I would go back tomorrow, but there are only so many Broadway shows that are amazing. I dont think ones coming along very soon thats like Hairspray for me.