Ashley Fink is one of the stars of Glee who is really coming into her own this season, playing the acerbig Lauren, who is now the apple of Puck’s eye as it were. As a full-figured girl, Fink has had to respond to criticism about the believability in her storyline - even from Rosie O’Donnell.
Fink talked to The Advocate about her experiences on the show so far…
Advocate: 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?
Ashley Fink: 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.
Advocate: Does it hurt to hear someone you so admire say unsupportive things about you and your character?
Ashley Fink: Not really, but I’ll possibly address it with her in the future. If I see her, I might be like, “Woman, let’s talk about this. Don’t be jealous ’cause a big girl’s doing her thing on Glee.” [Laughs] I love Rosie and I respect her opinion, so all I can say is that some of her comments were strange to me. But she was supportive originally, and I think she’s still supportive: She did say that she knows Brad Falchuk and Ryan Murphy are good navigators of this ship, and I agree. Besides, I don’t write the show, so I don’t have control over her complaints. But I’m really happy with my character, I’m proud to play her, and I’m having a blast. The whole plus-sized thing is so relevant in the media, but it’s so much less of a big deal in real life.
Amen girl. Seriously, I’ve loved her character and how they’ve developed her and she’s just become a source of great comedy – is that because she’s full-figured? No. Is it because her character is well-written? Yes. It’s kind of sad to see Rosie lambast what the show is trying to do. Hell, wasn’t the last time a plus-sized teen on television in a show based about going to fat camp? Need I say more?