“Glee” star Ashley Fink talks to The Advocate about her connection to gays and Rosie’s harsh comments
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.
Does it hurt to hear someone you so admire say unsupportive things about you and your character?
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.