Meet the college sophomore who was just cast as the lead of "Hairspray Live!"
Last year, we were so happy about the casting of the stunning 18-year-old Shanice Williams, who was cast to play Dorothy in The Wiz Live!. Today, we just got word that Maddie Baillio, a sophomore at Marymount Manhattan College, will be joining NBC’s upcoming Hairspray Live! as the lead character, Tracy Turnblad — and We. Cannot. Wait.
Maddie, a 20-year-old singer and dancer from League City, Texas, was chosen for the role out of approximately 1,000 women during an open casting call. Considering she has no professional theater experience, that’s an extremely impressive feat.
“I was so nervous for the first audition,” Maddie said in a clip posted to the Hairspray Live! Twitter account. “I heard there were over a thousand girls there. I was just happy to be seen.”
During the casting call, they put the Tracy Turnblad wig on Maddie, and she knew she clicked with this part. “The moment they put the wig on, I’m like, ‘Yes, I want this so bad!'” she said.
Maddie will be joining a stellar cast that includes Harvey Fierstein as Edna Turnblad, Martin Short as Wilbur Turnblad, Jennifer Hudson as Motormouth Maybelle, and Derek Hough as TV host Corny Collins. We couldn’t imagine a better cast, and we’re so excited for the debut on December 7th.
Because of Maddie’s persistence, dedication, and talent, she got the part — and yes, the moment she discovered that fact was caught on camera. Check out the clip below to watch the absolutely beautiful minute when Maddie discovered her wildest dreams had come true.