At the time of the interview it had recently been announced that Carley Stenson would be taking over the role of Elle Woods in London West End’s Legally Blonde as from July 11th. Following on from our previous in-depth interview with Carley, I asked her a few questions about the role.
You have been confirmed as the new Elle Woods in Legally Blonde, where were you when you got the news and how did you feel?
I was in my car (on hands free) driving back down south after a two week break back home to visit my family and friends when I got the call! I screamed all the way down to London, and rang everyone, but it wasn’t confirmed until the next day.
How would you describe ‘your’ Elle?
I miss the bonus of being able to watch what I do to correct it, now that it’s theatre not television so I guess I can’t really explain or describe how my Elle is different to anyone else’s. We all get directed a specific way, but I guess we have subtle differences naturally and our choices on how to play certain lines may vary. You will have to come and see to find out!
Following on from Sheridan Smith and Susan McFadden, how will you make the role your own?
I will just give every performance 110% and find my feet and Elle along the way. I like to play every line fresh each night and sometimes surprise myself how they come out! So I can’t predict exactly how I will make it a part of me, but I’ll just feel it all every night as if it’s my first.
Have you ever been treated like a ‘blonde’ in real life i.e. can you identify with the concept, ‘people thinking blondes are dumb’?
I’ve been treated blonde and ditsy many times, but the clever blondes use the label to their advantage, you get away with more ha! But actually on occasion I probably have deserved it, as I don’t like to take life too seriously or myself. But I like to consider myself as being a tad clever. I’ve studied, I read, I love to learn about the world, I definitely believe brains come before beauty!
What is your favourite song in Legally Blonde?
My favourite Legally Blonde song is So Much Better!
What do you like most about the character Emmett?
I like Emmet’s sincerity. He silently falls for Elle, never expecting anything back. He’s very endearing!
Legally Blonde is obviously a feel-good musical, but what is the most important underlying message of the show that you want to put forward?
The most underlining message for me from Legally Blonde is that it’s always better to trust your gut and be yourself!
Is there a point in the show when you can begin to relax and start to think ‘job done’ or does this only happen right at the end?
I never relax as Elle in Legally Blonde, but I breathe a little more easily once the “Scene of The Crime” is over as it’s set to music and very wordy!
What is your favourite scene in the show?
One of My favourite scenes is Elle’s entrance, I love coming up on the lift but feel scared I’m going to fall.
From Hollyoaks to Legally Blonde, you have quite a large number of fans, how do you try to keep in touch with them?
I always try to say hello to anyone who wants to talk about the show at the stage door afterwards, I always reply to fan letters, if and when I get them. I really appreciate the support.
Is there anything you would like to say to your Legally Blonde fans?
I would like to say, Thank you to anyone who has ever supported me!!
You can follow Carley on Twitter @carleystenson
Questions asked by Neil Cheesman who you can follow on Twitter @LondonTheatre1
6th July 2011