On ABC Family’s Bunheads, Michelle Simms (Sutton Foster) came to Paradise in search of a better life — and maybe even some unexpected love — but that all fell apart when her new husband died suddenly in a car crash.
Since then, the former Vegas showgirl has seemed a little lost, grasping for reasons to stay in the small California town. Well, Michelle might be discovering a reason to stay soon enough, and Wetpaint Entertainment talked to Sutton Foster at the ABC TCA All Star Party to get the scoop!
Wetpaint Entertainment: What can you tell us about Michelle's love life; we hear something about Godot?
Sutton Foster: Let's just say that Godot comes back. He's not just in one episode. He comes back. He visits again.
Is Michelle looking for romance?
I don't know if Michelle's necessarily…She's not ready. This is what I think, but she just married this guy. He died. She's in this weird-ass town. I don't think she's ready for a long-term relationship, but she's ready to have maybe a little fun.
Well, he's nothing if not fun?
Hello? And that's very clear. Yeah. She's finally realizing it's okay to look up. I think up until now, she's just kept her head down. I don't think the idea of romance or even a little making out has even entered her mind, and I think in upcoming episodes, she just begins to think, "Oh, maybe that could be a nice thing to think about again."
Did you ever question why she stayed in Paradise? There wasn't a ton to keep her there.
She didn't have anything else to go back to though, really. I get it. She's in a place where her life in Vegas is nothing to sneeze at. She had no roots, nothing. She's throwing darts. When she married Hubbell, it was like a total, “Well, I've got nothing. Maybe this guy? At least he's nice to me."
And I think as far as her staying in Paradise, every day she wakes up and goes, “This isn't so bad.” And she becomes more involved in the studio, and I think she begins to feel like maybe she can make a difference here or maybe this is the place where she can matter or mean something.
Now that she’s teaching, it feels like we're finally getting down to business. Is she laying down roots?
Michelle doesn't want to be an authority figure. She doesn't even want to be an adult. So she's enormously resistant to the idea of being in charge, but she's forced into it because Fanny leaves her there. And so she's reluctantly doing it, but, yeah, I think that she's beginning to lay down roots here. And I think she's falling in love with the girls, even though it's challenging. And I think with Fanny, even though that relationship is challenging, there's something that's there. It's making sense to her now.
What can you tell us about her relationship with Sasha?
I think she sees herself probably the most in her. I think she sees Sasha making all the same mistakes that she did and sees all the talent and all the potential and sees the messed up family life and can relate to it and can say, “Okay, kid. I want to tell you something. Don't do what I did because I have nothing to show for it. I threw it all away. Suck it up. You can do it. You can be stronger than you think you are.”
I think she wants to save her.
In real life, at what point did you have to decide that being a dancer was your life?
Dancing is so hard. And as a dancer, it is a life choice because it takes so much discipline and exercise. I was a dancer until I was 20, and then I just got tired. And then I started focusing on other things, like acting and singing. With dancing, I was like, it's too hard. It just takes a lot of dedication, and it has a limit because it's like being a gymnast. There's a reality to your body kind of saying, “Okay. You can't do this anymore.” I'm still a dancer. I mean, I'm not like these girls. They're unbelievable. But, yeah, I started thinking outside the box a little bit.
Will we see you dance on the show?
Yeah. There will be some stuff in Episode 10, and the girls really get to do a lot of really fun stuff in the next couple episodes.
How did you get the Bunheads gig?
They came after me, I guess. Amy had seen me when I was doing Anything Goes on Broadway. She saw the production and was writing the pilot at the time, and we took a meeting. I was such a fan of Gilmore Girls that I was like a psychotic geek fan on her. And luckily I didn't know that she was thinking about me for a job. I was just like, “Oh, my gosh. Tell me everything about Gilmore Girls.” But two weeks later, they called and offered me the part on the pilot. I was like, what? It didn't matter what it was. I mean, whatever it was, I would have done it. My agent called, and I was like, “Oh, yeah. It’s Amy. I'll do whatever. What is it?”
But then I read it, and it just was a perfect fit.
Bunheads airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on ABC Family.