(NEW YORK) — Tonight, the Disney Channel airs the fifth re-telling of the mom/daughter body-swap comedy Freaky Friday — but the first-ever as movie musical.
This time ’round, Broadway star Heidi Blickenstaff and actress and musician Cozi Zuehlsdorff [ZoolzDorf], respectively, play a busy mom and a ‘tude-filled high school-aged daughter magically swapping bodies.
Blickenstaff actually played the same role on stage, and she tells ABC Radio how she had to change her performance from stage to the small screen. “I definitely need needed to learn how to turn it down because in theater you play to the back row. And…a lot of the roles that I have played in my career are sort of larger than life: I played Ursula the Sea Witch [from The Little Mermaid] on Broadway and…you know, having that be in Freaky Friday would make people turn the channel,” Heidi laughs.
To convincingly swap places, the two actresses studied each other. “[T]o this day I’ll still move my hands like her, like, gesticulate just as she does,” laughs Cozi, who noticed her onscreen mom stole her moves, too: “[W]hen I watched the movie I go, ‘Oh my gosh that’s, that’s me right there! That’s crazy!'”
With this 2018 update, there were some things that had to change — even from the 2003 Lindsay Lohan/Jamie Lee Curtis permutation: cellphones. That brought a different acting challenge for the 20-year-old: “When I was texting in the movie as Katherine in Ellie’s body, they actually had to tell me, ‘Slow down, because you’re not a millennial. You’re not as good with a phone.'”
Freaky Friday airs tonight at 8 p.m. on the Disney Channel, which is owned by ABC News’ parent company, Disney.
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