Ashley Fink Knows What Boys Like
BY Brandon Voss
February 22 2011 1:20 PM ET
If Lauren Zizes were a country, according to a recent episode of Glee, her flag would be a big fist giving the rest of the world a finger. Likewise unfazed by criticism, Ashley Fink, the 24-year-old actress who plays the acerbic high school wrestler (currently subbing for Chris Colfer’s Kurt Hummel in the New Directions glee club), is proud to flip the “fat guy, skinny wife” sitcom stereotype through Lauren’s budding romance with Puck, Mark Salling’s sexy jock. Responding to Rosie O’Donnell’s recent remarks about the controversial storyline, Fink explains why Glee’s biggest loser is worthy of a win-win situation.
Advocate.com: Your character on Glee has resonated with gay viewers, but you first came to the gay audience’s attention in 2006 with your breakthrough role in Ash Christian’s Fat Girls.
Ashley Fink: Dude, that was crazy. I was only 17 when I got Fat Girls, and I turned 18 right before we shot it. We made that movie for less than you can buy a BMW, but we got to travel all over with it, it won an award at Outfest, and it gave me this insane gay following, which was fantastic. I felt right at home, because I’ve had this incredible connection with the gay community since I was 4 years old, growing up in Houston with two fabulous gay babysitters, Steve and Terry. There’s never been a better friend for me than the gays.
How do you explain that connection?
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.
And now you’re on Glee. You’re a walking “It Gets Better” moment.
It’s true. It’s tough, but it does get better. I never wanted to give anyone the satisfaction of taking something away from me. People bully you because they see something in you that they don’t have. Now I’m actually involved with the Trevor Project, and I was out there with picket signs to protest Prop. 8… Gay causes are the causes I support the most.