Speed Date With 'The Sound of Music's' Other Woman, Laura Benanti
Laura Benanti and Christian Borle in rehearsals on the set of 'The Sound of Music Live! (NBC)
In addition to "True Blood" star Stephen Moyer, Christian Borle from "Smash," and all those adorable kids, you'll also see 34-year-old Broadway star Laura Benanti. While much has already been said about Underwood stepping into Julie Andrews's massive shoes, not nearly enough has been said about the special's source material, which is the original musical, and not the movie. And, as such, Laura's role as Elsa, the other woman after Captain von Trapp's heart, is decidedly bigger than people might remember.
"No one can remake that film – nobody is Julie Andrews and nobody should try. The stage play is different. The songs are in a different order," she explained to Yahoo TV. "Max and Elsa … they didn't even have songs in the movie. They were cut, and we didn't really get to know those characters at all. This feels different than the movie but it has the same beautiful, nostalgic, traditional music that everyone is looking forward to hearing. I think people will be excited by the differences but also comforted by the similarities."
So, since we're going to be seeing quite a bit more of Laura, we decided to get to know her a little better by giving her recent album, "In Constant Search of the Right Kind of Attention (Live at 54 Below)," a listen and challenging her to one of our five-minute Speed Dates. Three, two, one… go!
1. Where did you grow up? Kinnelon, New Jersey.
2. Did your parents have another name for you if you turned out to be the opposite gender? I don't know.
3. What was your favorite doll or action figure? I loved my Pound Puppy. [Its name was] Pound Puppy. I just called it Pound Puppy.
4. Did you have a nickname as a child? Lolly. I think the song "Lollipop, lollipop, oh lolly lolly lolly…" My mom used to sing that to me and my name's Laura, so she started calling me Lolly.
5. What table did you sit at in the school cafeteria? Like the cool kids or the nerds? Oh, the nerds. Yeah.
Watch an interview with Laura Benanti on the set of "The Sound of Music Live!":
6. When did you realize you wanted to become an actor? There is not a time that I can remember ever not wanting to be an actor.