Laura Osnes starred as 'Ensign Nellie Forbush' in the Broadway revival of South Pacific, from 10 Mar - 4 Oct 2009, and again from 5 Jan - 8 Aug 2010. The musical played at the Lincoln Center's Vivian Beaumont from 1 Mar 2008 - 22 Aug 2010.
19 Nov 1985
Place of birth?
You now live in?
Did you go to training school, if so which one?
After high school, I went for one year to the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point to study Musical Theater.
As an actor, do you have a preference for stage, tv or film?
Your first stage performance?
A munchkin in the Wizard of Oz.
Career highlight to date?
For me, my current role as Nellie Forbush at Lincoln Center Theater.
What roles would you most like to play?
I've always wanted to do Millie in Thoroughly Modern Millie, Peggy Sawyer in 42nd Street, or Belle in Beauty & The Beast.
What has been your most embarrassing moment on stage?
My wig fell off during the final number of GREASE one night... I was supposed to be sexy Sandy, and there I was in a bald cap center stage!
What is the most annoying part about your job?
Not getting to go out at night... I have kind of a lame social life.
Briefly describe one of your memories from when you learnt you had been chosen to play the role of Sandra in the nationally televised Broadway talent competition ‘Grease: You're the One that I Want!’ ?
I was thrilled and overjoyed and thankful and relieved all at the same time!! The pressure of being on the tv show was finally over and my dream had just come true... But I knew my life had changed forever.
How did you feel when you made your Broadway debut in Grease?
It was incredibly rewarding to take that bow on Opening Night. I had dreamed of that moment since I was five years old.
Briefly tell us how you became involved in South Pacific?
I auditioned like everyone else. I went in prepared but thought it was such a long shot... I was too young and inexperienced to play Nellie. I was shocked to get a callback. After three more callbacks and work-sessions (including singing for the Rodger's & Hammerstien Association and reading with Tony-Award winner Paulo Szot), I got the call from my agent: "How would you like to wash your hair eight times a week?" I was elated!
Briefly tell us about the character Ensign Nellie Forbush which you play in South Pacific?
She's young and naive, but at the same time, sophisticated and adventurous. She yearns to experience new things, meet different kinds of people, and truly see the world... but when she does, I think she's surprised by it all. It hits her in ways she didn't expect. In the midst of a horrible wartime, that self-proclaimed "cockeyed optimist" has to conquer her own bitter prejudices before she learns her most important lesson. That bright-eyed girl from Arkansas matures so much by the end of the show, realizing how wrong she's been and that love is what matters most
If you had not become a performer, what might you have done instead?
I always thought maybe I'd write or illustrate children's books or have my own dance studio... perhaps some day.
Who are your favorite actors/actresses?
Rachel McAdams, Johnny Depp.
If you could meet anyone in the world dead or alive who would it be and what would you say to them?
Jesus -- I would say, "THANK YOU."
Favorite after-show haunts?
What was the last book you read, and name some of your favorite authors?
I just finished When Heaven Invades Earth, but to be honest, I'm not a huge reader.
What was the last film you saw, and name some of your favorite movies?
I saw AVATAR in 3D on the Imax two days ago; Some of my favorites are Pirates of the Carribbean, The Notebook, The Wizard of Oz
Favorite TV programs?
"Friday Night Lights" and "24"
Favorite holiday destinations?
Italy is next on the list! My hubby and I are hoping to plan a trip.
Do you have any hobbies?
Scrapbooking, journaling, dancing, baking, poetry, board games.
Do you have any superstitions?
If you were stranded on a desert island, what 3 items would you take with you?
Wedding ring, my bible, a jar of peanut butter.
What are your future plans?
As an actor, I am always looking for my next job. I have a few projects in the works that could take off this Fall, but nothing is certain yet. For now, I couldn't be happier to be back with my South Pacific family for another six months... I'm excited to see what doors open next!
Questions by Alan Bird