Exclusive: Carly Rae Jepsen on Her 18-Pound Cinderella Ball Gown

Carly Rae Jepsen, Joe Carroll, Cinderella
Photo: Carol Rosegg

Impossible things are happening to Carly Rae Jepsen! The "Call Me Maybe" singer has slipped into her new role as Cinderella in Broadway's rendition of the Rodgers & Hammerstein's classic fairy tale, and she's got the glass slippers and 18-pound ball gown to prove it. "I’m still learning how to dance in it," Jepsen laughs to InStyle.com. The starlet just began her debut run on Broadway this past February 4th and so far, life for Jepsen is looking like a fairy tale. "It’s been very surreal and very dreamlike," she says. "Every little girl grew up adoring the Cinderella story and as a woman, I really connect to her in a different way. I love how she is so crazy about changing the world and preaching it and using it in her daily life. I really like that it’s a beautiful message and story."

With 16 song numbers, a dance scene with a Prince—while wearing "glass slippers" and that ball gown of course—Jepsen has her work cut out for her, but what makes it fun for the 28-year-old is she gets to share the stage with some colorful characters. From sitcom queen Fran Drescher (who makes her debut as the evil stepmother, Madame), to seasoned Broadway stars including Joe Carroll (Prince Topher)—who comes directly from the revival of Romeo & Juliet with Orlando Bloom—to Victoria Clark (Marie), Jepsen also has all the support she needs. "Victoria has given me all the advice I need on how to heal my voice because it’s such a great task to ask out of your voice, and she has been my guru and she is very motherly in the best way," Jepsen explains.

In between her performances—which run until June 8th—Jepsen fills us in on everything from those glass slippers, her magical wardrobe changes, and what she would take from the set once the show ends (if she could)!

What’s it like working with the one and only, Fran Drescher?I have nothing but amazing things to say about [Fran]. She is such a gift and she is definitely charming, lovely, and perfectly evil when she needs to be!

What are your "glass slippers" like?Well the glass slippers are actually designed by Stuart Weitzman, which is amazing. When I had my first Billboard Awards show, I wore a Dolce & Gabbana dress with Stuart Weitzman shoes and I felt like Cinderella in that moment. Then it was kind of a weird moment when I arrived to the show and the glass slippers turned out to be Weitzmans! They have rhinestones and crystals all over them and every moment in the show when I try on the shoes, I actually feel giddy! I’m feeling all the feelings I’m suppose to feel and it’s such a cool moment.

Your costume changes were pretty impressive, how did you master that so smoothly?It took a lot of practice! I remember watching the show and being terrified of taking on the role of Cinderella and having to do the dress changes, but they look like magic at how quickly they change. It was trial and error and now it’s my favorite part of the show because it’s fun to shock people, especially the kids. I’m no longer terrified of it.

Aside from the costume changes, what's your favorite part of the show?There is a moment in the second act where the sisters (Stephanie Gibson and Ann Harada), Madame, and I are just recapping the ball and it’s their first-ever bonding moment where they are all around the piano singing. For Cinderella, it means a lot because after years of not being accepted by the family, this is her first moment of being a part of them and I really loved getting lost in it.

How was it learning the dance moves in such a big ball gown?It’s very difficult, we realized that the dress was originally made for a girl who is taller than me—I'm 5'2 tall—and Joe (Carroll) and I kept tripping over it and when we finally got it hemmed, we were laughing about it because it actually grew in width and Joe almost couldn’t reach me!

Once the show is over, what is the one thing you would like to take with you as a keepsake from the set?Probably the shoes to be honest! I kind of have a hilarious story, a week before the opening I was practicing the moment when I run down the stairs and leave my shoe behind. But instead my toe got stuck in the shoe and I catapulted it into the audience. Luckily no one was in the audience because it was rehearsal, but I realized that the show is live and anything can happen and you have to be on top of the shoes! So I have a special bond with [them] and they are also a weapon if you’re not careful.

To catch Carly Rae Jepsen as Cinderella, visit cinderellaonbroadway.com for tickets and showtimes!

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