‘Bunheads’ Star Sutton Foster on New Series and Where She Keeps Her Two Tony Awards (EXCLUSIVE)

at 12:15 pm | By

Celebs Gone Broadway
Who left the big screen for the stage?
Tonight, Broadway mega-star Sutton Foster will test the small-screen waters in the new ABC Family series Bunheads, in which she plays a Vegas showgirl who winds up running a small-town dance studio after she impulsively gets married.

It’s the latest series from Gilmore Girls creator Amy Sherman-Palladino, whom Foster says wanted her for the role after she saw her Tony-winning performance in Anything Goes.

“She was in the process of writing this pilot from ABC Family,” Foster, 37, revealed in an exclusive interview with Celebuzz. “We took a meeting, in New York. I’m a huge fan of her’s, from Gilmore Girls. Then, about a couple weeks later, she called my agent and asked if I would read for this part. It all just came from that. It came out of nowhere, and yet, it felt like the perfect thing at the perfect time.”

This is the first major television role for Foster, who has enjoyed a long career on Broadway, winning two Tony Awards along the way. Despite having only a few guest spots on shows like Law and Order: SVU and Royal Pains prior to Bunheads, Foster said she’s ready to take on this brand-new career challenge.

“If this had happened maybe 10 years, I would have been petrified and not ready,” she said. “But I think just where I’m at in my life, and the experiences that I’ve had in New York, I felt like I was ready for a new challenge; ready for a change of pace.”

“I guess I had some nerves, but it wasn’t, like, paralyzing fear,” she continued. “It was more just, like, ‘This is a little bit of unknown territory.’ I felt safe in the world of Amy, and she made me feel really safe and protected, especially when we shot the pilot.”

As of Monday, Foster said she had multiple episodes of the series, and cited long hours as one of the most surprising parts about transitioning from stage to television. Now that she’s so busy, will she have any time to return to Broadway?

“I hope so!” she said. “Hopefully I’ll have a long, fabulous career that’s varied with lots of different things. [Laughs]. Everyone is like, ‘Come back to Broadway!’ And I’m like, “Well, I haven’t been gone that long!’

“I don’t think I’ll be gone forever,” she continued. “As an artist, we go where whatever project excites us at the moment. So, I don’t think it’s about leaving something for good and moving to something else. The careers that I admire are the people who do everything. And I think that would be really exciting, to be able to do theater, television — who knows what else? I just want to keep all of my options open.”

Indeed, it’s hard to imagine Foster leaving bidding adieu to Broadway, a place that has showered her with great parts and a slew of awards after she took the world by storm in the 2002 smash hit Thoroughly Modern Millie, for which she received her first Tony.

And speaking of Tonys, just where does Foster — who says she one day wants to play Mama Rose in Gypsy — keep her trophies?

“They’re both still in New York,” she said. “I didn’t bring them out to L.A. I have a friend staying at my apartment, so I think they’re in storage. Isn’t that horrible? They’re wrapped in, like, protective bubble wrap right now, and they’re in their own little box; the Tony box! [Laughs]”.

Bunheads premieres tonight at 9/8C on ABC Family