A Chat with Haylie Duff, MTV's Legally Blonde Elle Woods Search
By April MacIntyre May 30, 2008, 14:38 GMT
Haylie Duff - Beverly Hills, CA, USA © Lee Roth / RothStock / PR Photos
No grass is growing under the feet of actress Haylie Duff, who's currently working in Vancouver on a film called, 'Deep Cove.”
The actress has a busy slate of films to follow, as well as executive producing a hot MTV reality show that features an A-List of Broadway choreographers and talent scouts to help cull a herd of hoofing hopefuls all vying for a coveted role on the Great White Way.
Duff is excited about the June 2 MTV premiere of "Legally Blonde: The Search for the New Elle Woods."
"Those girls are my peers. I'm constantly auditioning for things so I felt like an equal to them more than I did somebody that was going to be judging them or eliminating them," says Duff regarding the hosting the new MTV reality series.
Duff spoke to Monsters and Critics regarding the upcoming series:
How did you come to select the 10 actresses who will be living together in a New York City loft to compete for the role of Elle Woods?
Haylie: We auditioned 2,500 girls from all across the U.S. These 10 girls are the best of the best and worked extremely hard to get to this point and have this opportunity.
Haylie – how will you be coaching or mentoring them for this role in Broadway's Legally Blonde?
Haylie: Coming from the Broadway show 'Hairspray', I have personally been through everything that they are going through. So I'm there to push them and encourage them, and remind them that all this work is worth the incredible pay off.
How did you cross paths with Bravo TV star and choreographer/ director Jerry Mitchell?
Haylie: I actually worked with Jerry on 'Hairspray.' He is an incredible force with the most insane eye for talent and vision I have every witnessed.
Tell me about the training "braintrust" you have assembled to mold the girls for this role?
Haylie: We were very fortunate to have the best possible teachers for the girls. The majority of them were instrumental in preparing me for Hairspray. Jerry Mitchell, Bernie Telsey, to name a few, are some of the biggest names when it comes to Broadway star makers.
So, even the girls that don’t win walk away with some incredible exposure.
What is the most grueling aspect of performing this musical, any particular scene or dance sequence?
Haylie: Well, I think the Elle Woods character is only off stage for approximately 7 minutes throughout the entire show. So, I don’t think any of it is easy.
How did you become the executive producer of this series for MTV?
Haylie: I was approached to mentor/host and after reading the treatment and synopsis, I had to be a part of it.
My Broadway experience is something I hold very dear to my heart. So being able to executive produce this project just gave me more of an opportunity to make this show personal for me, with all the workshops and exercises where things that I was put through to prepare, so I feel lucky to pass the baton.