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Nikki Blonsky: My first taste of fame

Enjoying her movie debut as plucky Tracy Turnblad in ”Hairspray,” the 18-year-old gushes about the milestones that are making this the time of her life

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Meeting John Travolta
”The first time I met him, he said, ‘Come to Mama,”’ recalls Blonsky of the actor who plays her onscreen mom. ”We met at the studio, way before the first day on set, and we hit it off right away.”

Red Carpet Initiation
”A reporter asked at our L.A. premiere, ‘If you could help J.K. Rowling finish the last Harry Potter, what would you tell her?’ I was like, ‘J.K. Rowling doesn’t need my help. Who am I to tell her what to do?!”’

First Famous Pal
”I talk to [costar] Queen Latifah all the time. She really understands me.” Especially when it comes to being curvy in Hollywood: ”She tells me, ‘Stay who you are. Love who you are. And don’t apologize for it.”’

Onscreen Kissing 101
”We had to shoot [our kiss] for four days,” says Blonsky of puckering up with High School Musical heartthrob Zac Efron. ”It wasn’t a big deal. It wasn’t a kiss for Nikki. It was a kiss for Tracy.”

Wow! Moment
At Hairspray‘s premiere, ”John Waters [creator of the original 1988 film] was sitting across from me — I was dying! When he made his cameo, I looked at him just so I could say, ‘There he is on screen, and there he is right next to me!”’

Her Big Homecoming
The Long Island native first saw the film when it was screened for friends and family at a local theater last month. ”At the end, there was a standing ovation. I thought to myself: My dream came true.”