Christina Applegate, star of the upcoming Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues, recently joined the judging panel on So You Think You Can Dance. The FOX summer competition staple, recently nominated for seven Primetime Emmy Awards and now in its tenth season, shows lithe young contestants chasseing, tutting, or arabesque-ing their way to become crowned “America’s Favorite Dancer.”
Of course, guest celebrity judges are nothing new to competition shows, often brought in as little more than talking heads to boost ratings, shill an upcoming project and coo generic critiques. However, Applegate – a favorite SYTYCD guest judges because of her ability to offer constructive feedback – shows that she, in fact, knows quite a bit about dance and holds her own next to show regulars Executive Producer, Nigel Lythgoe, and ballroom dance expert Mary “Hot Tamale Train” Murphy.
None of this should come as a surprise considering Applegate has studied dance her whole life, helped create The Pussycat Dolls with then-roommate Robin Antin and, in 2005, hoofed her way through a Broadway revival of Sweet Charity right into a Tony nomination for Best Actress in a Musical. We caught up with her backstage for a quick chat:
Out: You’ve been a judge on the show now…
Christina Applegate: Three times.
And, what is it about this season that has you most excited?
I really like the fact that everyone is incredibly eclectic. We don’t just have an uneven balance of contemporary dancers against the myriad other dance genres this year. I think that’s going to play a factor. Make it more dangerous.
If you were a contestant on the show, what style would you least want to pull out of the hat?
Animation. Hip-hop. [pauses] Yeah, animation [a style that imitates stop-motion animation films] or hip-hop. I’m fine with tap, I’m fine with contemporary—really fine with Broadway. But give me anything where I have to be funky or something. It just doesn’t [snaps fingers three times] work with my body.
However, If I did pull this style and I had never done it before, I would do everything in my power to become the best animator I could possibly be… learning the terminology, the basis of it, everything. That’s what I was saying to Jade earlier.
[Animator and SYTYCD contestant Jade has since had to bow out of the competition due to an injury.]
Will we get to see any dance moves in your upcoming film, Anchorman 2: The Legend Continues?
No dancing. [Coyly] Well, no dancing for me. I can give you that much. But, that’s all I can say.
'So You Think You Can Dance' airs 8 p.m., Tues. on FOX. Upcoming judges on the show include Anna Kendrick, Kenny Ortega, and Paula Abdul.