You’ve done a lot of small TV work here and there, but this is your first really big lead role. How are you feeling taking this step?
Sutton Foster: I have to say that I’m loving it; I really am. I am having the time of my life, and I think it’s because it just feels like the right role, the right writer, the right project, and the right timing.
I’ve been living in New York for about 15 years. I absolutely love the theater. It’s my home. It’s what I always wanted to do. But I was coming to a point where I just wanted a new challenge and something new, and this came across my path, and already it’s just been an incredible experience. And I’m learning every single day something new, and it’s exciting. It’s exciting that I’m 37 years old and I’m learning so much. And it’s really cool. It’s a whole new challenge, a whole new chapter of my life.
What type of preparation did you do to get ready for your role of Michelle on Bunheads that was maybe different than how you would prepare for your other roles?
Sutton Foster: It’s all very similar. But with this role, a lot of it was just really, really getting the script and the words in my body and in my brain so that Sutton and her were one and the same. And I’m still discovering more and more about her every day. What’s exciting about playing a character like this is that you sort of discover her at a real crossroads in her life. She’s really letting go of one life and beginning at a whole other one, and as audiences are discovering her, so am I. So a lot of it’s just about remaining really open and bringing as much of my sensibility and sense of humor to her as I can, and then just really getting inside the words.
Do you see yourself in the young actresses that you’re working with -- both in their fictional roles and as young actresses and dancers?
Sutton Foster: I do actually. The girls are in their teens -- 16, 17. And as the character definitely, and in my life too, because I go back to when I was 17 years old and when I was just sort of starting out, but they are far better dancers than I ever was. They are the most beautiful, beautiful ballet dancers. They’re extraordinary. And they’re doing things on a show that are so exciting. And it’s them doing it, you know? There’s no body-doubles coming in to dance for them. They’re, like, the real deal, and they’re really great young women. It’s exciting. It’s exciting to see them have this opportunity, and I think it’s going to be a great thing for them in their lives. Michelle, my character, I think she sees in them and wants to impart to them ways to do things better than she did because I think Michelle lost her way. And when you meet my character, she’s very lost, and so she wants to impart some better judgment and wisdom into the young kids so that maybe they don’t make the same mistakes she did.