John Travolta knew what he wanted to do with the role of Edna Turnblad, the zaftig housewife at the center of "Hairspray." The movie's producers, however, weren't so sure.
Especially when he insisted on using a Bawlamer accent.
"I got fought on it, by everyone," Travolta says over the phone from his home in Florida, recalling his efforts to put his own stamp on the character. "Finally, I said to them, 'Look, I don't have to do this movie. This is a lark. Either you let me do it with my interpretation, which includes the Baltimore accent … or let's just not do it.'"
Not surprisingly, Travolta got his way — when you're a big-time movie star,...