‘Glee’ star responds to Rosie O’Donnell’s comments

By Greg Hernandez

HollywoodNews.com: Has it not been terrific to see the character of Lauren (played so wonderfully by Ashley Fink) be so aggressively pursued by the studly Puck (Mark Salling) on recent episodes of ‘Glee’?

To have an overweight high school student be so full of confidence is a great message to send and, I’m sure, a great help to those young viewers struggling with their weight.

Brandon Voss has chatted with Ashley for ‘The Advocate’ and as I read it, I realized that I had met Ashley and chatted with her a bit at the Outfest screening of Ash Christian’s movie ‘Fat Girls.’

It’s nice to see that she has gotten this breakthrough role on one of the hottest television shows ever.

She tells Brandon about her connections to gays: “Growing up “other” in any way, whether it be gay, chubby, or whatever, you have to fight. Kurt’s bullying storyline on ‘Glee’ has really resonated with me because middle school was terrible for me. I had curly blonde hair, I was chubby, I went to school with all these rich kids, and I was just miserable. I’d leave in tears every day. I remember thinking, This is not going to be my life. I had to find my power, so I developed a quick wit. After a while, I didn’t take anybody’s shit. I was like, You’ve pushed me around, and I’m bored with you. Luckily, I got a scholarship to a performing arts high school, and I ended up having a great high school experience. I overcame.”

But what has really made news in recent days is Rosie O’Donnell’s unflattering comments about the Lauren-Puck storyline.

Here is the part of the interview in which Ashley addresses it:

The Lauren and Puck romance on ‘Glee’ has been causing quite a stir in the blogosphere, but the controversy seems to have come to a head after last week’s episode with Rosie O’Donnell’s statements to ‘Access Hollywood’ about the onscreen pairing. “Every woman I know who’s heavy has very strong feelings about that storyline,” she said. “They’re like, ‘Can you believe that? I think it’s horrible. That never happens in school. That character is so unlikable. Why didn’t they get a pretty heavy girl?’” She went on to say that “every story deserves to be told,” but what’s your take on her more unflattering observations?

It’s so crazy. Rosie’s been talking about me for a bit now, and it was very positive. Then she was on ‘Access Hollywood,’ promoting a new hairstyle or something, and for some reason she decided to talk about me again. I’ve been a fan of Rosie’s for a long time — for Christmas one year I asked for a Koosh ball like she threw at people because I thought she was the coolest lady ever — so I am surprised at the comments she made. I’ve got swagger too, so I don’t find my storyline unrealistic. When I went to performing arts high school, I did date the cutest boy in school, and I sang whatever song I wanted. My storyline has resonated with a lot of people, plus-sized and not, who don’t feel “other,” so I’m honored to portray Lauren.

Rosie particularly expressed her problems with Lauren’s solo, “I Know What Boys Like,” because she expected more of a “Susan Boyle moment.”

Lauren was nervous. Everyone has a weak spot, and Lauren had stage fright. Glee club is opening up her heart, so I hope that the next time she sings she gets to shake the rafters.

You’re active on Twitter. What’s the fan response been since Rosie’s statements?

What a way to wake up on a Friday, right? My followers were like, “What?! Ashley’s beautiful!” I was like, OK, something must’ve happened while I was asleep.

To read more from this article go to Greg In Hollywood.

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One Comment

  • February 23, 2011 | Permalink |

    I can’t believe I’m saying this because I often feel this claim is a cop out; but Rosie is truly honestly being quoted out of context here. When I first read these comments, I truly believed Rosie was being “queen of mean” (which she is truly capable of) but she’s honestly not in this case. If you watch the actual video of the interview, all of the unflattering comments about Ashley’s appearance and the character she’s playing being unlikeable are actually Rosie quoting the unnamed acquaintances she references: she even uses a funny “mean girl” voice in quoting them. Rosie, in the interview, seems to actually *like* the Lauren character and the storyline though she may end up disappointed because she’s expecting Lauren to be a “Susan Boyle” character with great singing talent. I disagree there and am not expecting that cliche. I don’t think Ashley can sing and wasn’t originally hired for that. I think she was hired to be a background character and then Murphy et. al discovered she was a talented, funny character actor and decided to expand her role much like Heather/Brittany who was originally hired mostly to be a background dancer.

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