Edna Turnblad is, by far, my favourite character from ‘Hairspray’. She is Tracy’s mother and she really cares of her. At the beginning she is overprotective, she doesn’t want her daughter to appear on the Corny Collins Show because she thinks that the people won’t accept her because of her weight, but then she realises that she is wrong, that Tracy is brave, so she supports her and learns to be braver too.
On Broadway, the role was originated by Harvey Fierstein. He is an American actor that won the Tony Award for the Best Actor in a Musical for playing Edna. If you listen to the soundtrack of the show, you realise that he has a particular voice and makes Edna a funny character, with lot of heart too, but a bit more like a caricature. Of course that’s my interpretation according to the soundtrack, maybe he was different live.
In the case of the movie adaptation, John Travolta was Edna. He was nominated at the Golden Globe Awards but he didn’t win, Javier Bardem did for his extraordinary performance in ‘No Country For Old Men’. Travolta makes a really kind character, a mother that really looks after her daughter. Her voice is soft; she looks a bit shy but gets more confident lately.
My favourite scene from ‘Hairspray’ is ‘Welcome to the 60’s’, with Edna celebrating life. She finally leaves home and discovers a whole new world with her daughter. She gets beautiful with a bit of make up and a new dress that makes her see the world in a better way, enjoying the fun of it. This song is colourful, optimistic, motivating and catchy.
What do you think about ‘Welcome to the 60’s’, do you like it?