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Blonde Ambition

Bailey Hanks talks blonde moments and landing the starring role in Legally Blonde the musical.


Bailey Hanks knows it takes more than pretty hair to win the role of a lifetime.

After years of singing lessons, dance classes, and community theater, she won the MTV reality contest Legally Blonde, the Musical: the Search for Elle Woods. That landed Hanks the starring role in the Broadway adaptation of the hit Reese Witherspoon movie, and now she is re-creating the part for Diablo Theatre Company’s upcoming production.

“I’ve learned a lot from Elle in my own life,” says 24-year-old Hanks of the ditzy-but-not-dumb heroine, who becomes a star legal student at Harvard. “She’s funny, she’s strong, and whenever life knocks her down, she picks herself right back up.”

Still, Hanks is not above sharing a “blonde moment” of her own, when asked what she thinks of the silly jokes made at the expense of the fair-haired.

“One time, my little sister came home from elementary school and told us she was studying Mother Teresa,” says Hanks. “I asked, ‘Wait, was Mother Teresa a real person?’ I always thought she was like a fairy godmother character from make-believe.”

Legally Blonde, the Musical, February 10–March 3, at the Lesher Center for the Arts in Walnut Creek, diablotheatre.org

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