Ashley Fink Knows What Boys Like

Glee’s newest heavy hitter — and Chris Colfer’s date to the Golden Globes — responds to Rosie O’Donnell’s recent complaints about her plus-sized character.

BY Brandon Voss

February 22 2011 12:20 PM ET

ASHLEY FINK LEAD X390 (KATE ROMERO) | ADVOCATE.COMThe 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.

Because Lauren’s storylines do have potential to be sensitive — like Puck serenading Lauren with Queen’s “Fat Bottomed Girls” — do the writers ever discuss them with you in advance to gauge your reaction?
No, they don’t necessarily ask me about things like that, but I know that they’d be willing to hear my concerns. I have complete faith in the Glee team and I’m very happy with where the character’s going. “Fat Bottomed Girls” is one of my favorite songs, and Mark’s version is amazing. I’ve been blasting it in my car since the day we shot it.

Tags: television

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