At 16, Blonsky auditioned for the role of barrier-breaking teen Tracy Turnblad -- a girl who leads the charge for integration in 1960s Baltimore -- in the Broadway production of "Hairspray." She didn't get the part, but a year later she answered an online casting call and landed the role as a virtual unknown in the film version of the musical.
Blonsky's spirited portrayal earned the newcomer a Golden Globe nomination and a Critics Choice Award. She has also appeared in the made-for-TV movie Queen Sized (2008), playing an overweight teen who campaigns to be her high school's homecoming queen.
Set in 1962, this colorful adaptation of the Tony-winning musical follows ambitious plus-size teen Tracy Turnblad, who tries to integrate a racially divided Baltimore one Watusi at a time.