She went from being topped Miss America — to being elected First Girl.
Vanessa Williams stars because the First Girl in Broadway’s “POTUS” —a task she’s been gathering materials for her complete life.
“I’ve met 5 first girls in my lifetime, which has been fairly extraordinary, so I’ve acquired some nice historical past to tug from,” the 59-year-old advised The Put up through Zoom on Friday. “As a result of they’re all superb, swish, good, passionate, devoted ladies.”
Her first encounter with the president’s different half got here after getting topped Miss America in 1983 —when she attended the state dinner on the White Home and met President Ronald Reagan and his spouse, Nancy.
Within the play, which has been nominated for 3 Tony Awards, audiences by no means see the president, however be taught a salacious reality about him —that he acquired a younger girl, performed by Julianne Hough, pregnant.
The actress and “Save the Greatest for Final” singer —who invited her Chappaqua neighbor Hillary Clinton to see the present —shrugged off any trace of irony.
“However you already know what … there’s been a number of scandals, John F. Kennedy, I imply, there’s been scandal throughout the board,” she stated.
One of the vital latest scandals to rock the Nice White Manner is the leak of a cellphone video and pictures of a nude Jessie Williams in “Take Me Out.” The mother of 4 and first-time grandmother says that’s par for the course and “a part of the chance of doing a present the place you’re full frontal and full rear.”
The previous pageant queen understands the dangers firsthand, having had bare pictures of herself emerge after profitable Miss America, which led her to in the end resign.
In actual fact, she first acquired the information that her “Penthouse” pictures went public with out her permission from a New York Put up reporter throughout an interview in 1984 —which was additionally a few girl within the White Home.
“Geraldine Ferraro was operating because the ticket for feminine vp … It was July thirteenth, Friday the thirteenth, once I had the interview … On the very finish, he stated, ‘Oh, by the best way, we heard from a dependable supply. And I used to be like, ‘I do not know what you’re speaking about.’”
Williams —who gained Miss America whereas she was nonetheless a pupil at Syracuse College —stated she didn’t expertise the identical pressures as different magnificence rivals had.
This was as a result of the Bronx native, who grew up in Millwood, was awarded the title after collaborating in solely a handful of contests, together with Miss New York, a title she was awarded only a few months previous to Miss America.
She met Miss Universe winner Chelsie Kryst, who dedicated suicide in January by leaping off her Midtown constructing, when the Additional correspondent interviewed her nearly in 2020.
“I did one interview along with her throughout the pandemic,” she stated. “However I had no concept. She didn’t appear to be she had any psychological points that she was coping with in any respect. So I do not know what was happening in her life, however to take your life in that method, it’s a really robust declaration of desirous to be seen and heard.”
For her character, Margaret, who Williams calls a “badass,” the actress does her personal make-up. And as for equipment, she took inspiration from real-life White Home ladies.
“The triple strand of pearls is certainly very Barbara Bush,” she stated. “The scarf that I put on in Act II, Hillary went by way of her headband section. The jumpsuit, I feel Michelle Obama might be the one First Girl that’s ever carried out a jumpsuit.”
And talking about signature equipment, Williams nonetheless has her Miss America crown in a field at house. “I resigned, nobody got here to my home to dethrone me,” she stated, laughing.