TODAY

TODAY   |  April 29, 2014

Sutton Foster on inner beauty and her Tony nod

Broadway actress Sutton Foster stars in the Roundabout Theater Company’s “Violet,” where she doesn’t wear any makeup on stage. She tells Kathie Lee and Hoda how her mother taught her to focus on inner beauty and says she’s “thrilled” about her Tony nomination.

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This content comes from Closed Captioning that was broadcast along with this program.

>>> welcome back to more of "today" on this tuesday. and our special series "love your selfie," according to our "today" aol body image survey, 67% of adult women say they worry about their appearance regularly.

>> wow. actress sutton foster is here encouraging all women to embrace who they are. the very exciting day here, because the two-time tony winner wowed critics and fans with glamorous role like reno sweeney in the revival of "anything goes".

>> now she steps back from the glam to star in "violet" on broadway , a role for when she just landed her sixth tony nomination.

>> wow.

>> 1964 , about a woman whose face is scarred from a childhood accident and dreams of being beautiful. when you see a brand-new face when you see a brand-new face when you see a brand-new face and it's mine won't you be surprised

>> the woman has chops. and she's got great legs.

>> oh.

>> what a great day to have you on.

>> thank you so much.

>> when did you think when you heard --

>> you can never -- i'm thrilled. i'm so thrilled. this is -- we already feel like we have won. we never thought in a million years the show would be -- we would be doing it on broadway and for it to be --

>> off broadway , first.

>> originally done in 1997 off broadway . i'll have a sip.

>> you have to.

>> it has taken 17 years for it to come to broadway and the most beautiful story. and i'm just so thrilled that audiences and people are embracing it.

>> it seemed to me because it is in 1964 , it -- but it has a theme that is so present now to which it is about image. you go on a journey and tell us why you do.

>> i do. my character has a childhood accident and has a facial scar and she truly believes she's ugly and she believes that a face healer in oklahoma, a preacher, will heal her. if she's healed and the scar is gone, she will be happy, she will be loved.

>> and she'll be beautiful.

>> and she will be beautiful.

>> we look at you, you don't have a physical scar. is that something that is left up to the audience?

>> it is.

>> you also don't have makeup on.

>> don't wear a stitch of makeup. and the creators, they decided that people's imaginations are stronger than anything we could ever depict. we decided not to show the scar. the scar is also a metaphor, because we all have scars.

>> we all have them.

>> we all have things we don't love about ourselves, we wish would change or emotional scars or things that we deal with every day. so the show is really about learning to accept, to embrace, to let go, to love yourself, warts, scars and zblaul haall.

>> have you been able to do that? we have been doing this "love your selfie" week.

>> we all have things we look in the mirror, and i look in the mirror and say, i wish i had a stronger chin or whatever. but i'm lucky, i feel like my mom -- my mom really instilled in me inner beauty . especially wanting people to accept and love me for who i was on the inside as opposed to what i looked on the outside. that's my mom, yeah.

>> beautiful picture.

>> i know you went through a terrible loss. this, you feel like, is for your mom who you lost last fall.

>> my mom passed away in september and in so many ways i feel like this show is a gift from her. she's everywhere. you know, when i do the show and so it's very cathartic and very beautiful.

>> wanted to be a model, huh?

>> she did. she wanted to be a model and she felt like her father never encouraged her.

>> you look so much like her.

>> you really do.

>> my brother and i showed interest in the arts, she supported us. i would never be where i am without her.

>> congratulations.

>> god bless you. she's seeing everything.

>> i know.

>> and "violet" is now playing at the american airlines theater here in new york. and for more on our love your selfie series, check out