Nikki Blonsky from Geography Club!
Nikki Blosnky (Hairspray star), is in the new film Geography Club! See what she had to say about the film, and she may or may not have shared on kissing Zac Efron!
GLITTER: You are mainly known from your character on Hairspray, and this movie is gonna be totally opposite of Hairspray! Were you nervous about transitioning to a role that people won’t know you as?
NIKKI: I’m pretty similar to Tracy [from Hairspray] who loved to sing and dance, so I’m not that far off from her, but I don’t just randomly bust out a song in the middle of the street to peoples disappointment. We have similar family values, similar relationships with friends, just similar personalities. But, being an actress when you get a role where you are able to stretch your “acting wings,” and really take off and see what you can do and play someone that’s so different from you, it’s like a gift from above. Playing Terese was so much fun. She was so different from me, not just because she was a lesbian, but because she was a little bit of a harder shell to crack. Whereas, if I’m close to people, I wear my emotions on my sleeve. I’m a really open person, whereas she’s not! She looks tough on the outside, and I think she looks that way because she is afraid of people finding out she is lesbian, and possibly bullying her. So she gives that “don’t even look at me” vibe. But she’s really a sweetheart from the inside, and just wants to be who she is and love her girlfriend.
GLITTER: Tell us about the movie for people who are still new to what it’s about. Geography isn’t exactly a geography club.
NIKKI: Yes, Geography Club is far different from a “geography club.” It’s about a group of teens who form a quote on quote geography club, and they thought of that because they think, “Wow, that sounds so boring. Why would people want to join a geography club?” and so they meet there all the time, and it’s really a group of LGBT teens, and they are meeting and talking about their issues because they are all friends. It’s a great disguise for them to pop in there during school, and be together and talk. That’s when myself and my girlfriend, Min, (who’s played by the amazing Ally Maki) get to have our moments to be together. It’s a great safe haven for them.
GLITTER: For teens, why do you think it’s important to see this movie? What’s the real message?
NIKKI: The real message behind this is be who you are. You only get one lifetime and no matter if you are bullied, no matter what go see this movie. Everything you are going through in high school is in this movie. Our movie has bullying; Our movie has everything: gay, straight alliances in the end. We have every type of person in this movie that you go to high school with, and before we have heaven forbid, more suicides, go see this movie! Sit your butt in the theater!
My grandmother always taught me – and I want every kid who has ever been bullied to hear this statement, and remember it forever – that people bully other people because they are insecure with themselves. And I took those words from my grandmother, and that has gotten me through thus far. If someone comments on my weight, I say that’s because they aren’t happy with themselves.
GLITTER: Do you still struggle with bullying to this day?
NIKKI: Absolutely. I’d say every single day I get a mean tweet.
GLITTER: Cyberbullying is becoming so huge for teens. People are hiding behind their computers now, and it’s really important for teens to know that celebrities like you are still getting that.
NIKKI: Oh my gosh! If people and kids, and my fans knew how much I get bullied, through mean tweets, mean blogs, it’s like high school but worse! The whole world can write whatever they want! I get mean tweets in languages that I don’t even understand!! The key to it is, my grandmother said, “If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all.” So, I don’t write them back, I go on their page and I block ’em!
I’d be lying if I said I didn’t read it and it didn’t effect me, because I figure here I am trying to do the best job I can with my job, and it’s just not good enough for some people, or some people really hate me. And it’s just for silly reasons, like “that dress is so ugly. It made her look fat.” So what?! I’m just a human being like everybody else, and that’s what teens need to realize. We all make mistakes.
GLITTER: Would you say that all this real life experience with bullying drew you to the Geography Club script? Even if you aren’t LGBT, the bullying factor is still huge in this movie!
NIKKI: Oh my gosh, yes. The bullying factor, the fact that it was a LGBT-geared movie because my best friend is gay and my cousin is gay, I wanted to really stand up for them and show support to them in my own little way. But, the bullying was the main reason because I’ve been bullied since the day I stepped into school.
It was always because “I was too heavy,” or “I was too short.” I was never good enough, and you know what? I realized, why am I letting these people determine what’s good enough for ME? I determine what’s good enough for me! You really have to have that inner strength.
GLITTER: Would you say that going through everything made you better? How would you tell teens to know that there is a light at the end of the tunnel?
NIKKI: If teens look at my story, you see a girl who’s been picked on since kindergarten. Then, worked and worked all through my school career and I found what I love. And, I went for it. I kept going back and auditioning, and my dream came true! So, when those kids are bullying you, just think, high school is four years of my life. I am never gonna see these kids again!!
Kids need to realize that there is a light at the end of the tunnel, because after high school you go to college or get a job, and you get to be yourself. There is so much life to live. Don’t be ashamed of who you are! Let it out!! Let it out, and proud! You only get one chance at life! Let it out, do your thing, and don’t be ashamed of who you are. Live life to the fullest every day, because you never know when it will be your last.
GLITTER: If you could tell your high school self one thing, what would it have been?
NIKKI: Oh wow. If I could’ve told my high school self one thing, it would’ve been “have a little more fun, loosen up!” I was always the person who was the wall flower and didn’t want to talk to anybody. I would also tell myself, “you ROCKED it in high school!” I have to say, I was myself. I never cheated myself of being myself. But I’d also tell myself to get ready for the road ahead, because in the industry, you get picked on and the people that are you classmates and your co-workers, are sometimes over paid bullies. So, get ready because life is about to change for the better.
GLITTER: So was everyone close on set?
NIKKI: Yes! We were all extremely close. I remember, when I got to LA I called Ally Maki (who plays my girlfriend) the night before we started shooting, and I said to her, “Listen. I want this to be really authentic. I don’t want it to look like two actors trying to not be uncomfortable. This isn’t about two girls, or two guys. It’s about loving another person!” I told her not to be afraid to do that because we are partners in this film. I wanted to crack the ice with her. We hit it off really well. We knew what we were there to play, and we both wanted to make a difference with this film. You’ll see these two characters who are so polar opposite, but so beautifully in love with each other.
GLITTER: Would you encourage your Hairspray fans to watch this film? In a sense, Hairspray was about changing the world through integration.
NIKKI: I would, because Hairspray was for kids as well, but now those kids have grown up. I’d say, “Hey guys, Hairspray was about bringing everyone together and making a movement.” I kind of led that movement in Hairspray, and I have a thing about making movements I guess! But, my movies are really about making a statement and I’m proud to say that I do those type of films and don’t just do pointless films. I want to make a difference in people’s lives.
GLITTER: That’s so amazing. Now, I have to ask this… and it’s not related to Geography Club, but everyone STILL wants to know, what was it like to kiss Zac Efron?
NIKKI: Oh my gosh!! I’ve been saying the same thing for about 7 years!! Wow!! I get tweeted about 30 times a day about it. If I had a dime for every time I heard that question, I’d be going to the bank every 10 seconds. I’m going to be so honest, and I’m going to give you an exclusive. I’ve always told people that a true lady never kisses and tells, that it was just another day in the office, which it was! I was working! But, boy was that some FUN work!!!
GLITTER: Do you miss the cast at all?
NIKKI: Of course! I speak to a lot of them all the time. John Travolta all the time. I speak to all of them. I think Zac and I will always have a little twinkle in our eye for each other.