Two-time Tony winner Sutton Foster is doling out pop culture references and banter aplenty in the ABC Family series Bunheads, but in a recent Salon interview, the Anything Goes alum admits she doesn't understand everything she’s asked to say on screen. “Some of them I’ll Google,” Foster says of the witty references penned by Bunheads (and Gilmore Girls) creator Amy Sherman-Palladino. “I try not to ask because Amy will be like, ‘You don’t know what that means?!’ and she’ll call me out in front of everybody. So I try to like do all the research that I can, so I can come in and be like, ‘Oh yeah, I know that,’ whatever it is.”
For Foster, who plays dance teacher Michelle Simms on the hit series, making her TV debut in such a fast-paced show is a challenge, but it’s comforting to see a familiar face on set: Tony winner Kelly Bishop (also an Anything Goes and Gilmore Girls alum). “I’m such a fan of [Bishop’s] from Gilmore, and then she came on Anything Goes [as Evangeline Harcourt] and I was like, ‘Oh my God, oh my God!’ I would follow her around and ask questions.” Foster, who frequently squabbles on screen with Bishop in Bunheads, couldn’t ask for a better scene partner.
The biggest surprise of all? After living in New York for 15 years while starring on Broadway, Foster absolutely loves her new life in Los Angeles. “I really like it here,” she said. “It’s so weird!” Foster describes her old New York life as far more stressful than her more relaxed existence in California. “I’m ready to walk 10 blocks and battle the crowds, or bundle up in like eight layers so I don’t freeze, or deal with the rain and the umbrella,” she quipped. “I like the person I am out here more than the person I am in New York.”
While getting settled in L.A., Foster is catching up on her favorite TV shows, including Revenge, Downton Abbey, True Blood and Grey’s Anatomy. “I totally like the girly stuff,” she admitted, citing Gilmore Girls as one of her top faves. “It’s an escape.” And if she weren’t starring on Bunheads herself, Foster insists she’d be glued to the TV to see what the ballerinas of Paradise Dance Academy are up to.
Watch the season finale of Bunheads on August 20!