Ariana Grande moved to tears in Hairspray Live! rehearsals

29th Nov 16 | Entertainment News

Singer-turned-actress Ariana Grande has been "moved to tears" in every rehearsal for upcoming TV musical Hairspray Live!.

Press Junket For NBC's 'Hairspray Live!'

The Problem hitmaker has been cast as Penny Pingleton in the live U.S. TV event, and she is moved by how relevant the 1960s-set storyline, about a young woman fighting against segregation and other social injustices, remains today, with racial tensions still evident across the U.S.

"Even rehearsing, I've been moved to tears, literally every single time, and it's gonna be so hard not to cry on the day," she told U.S. breakfast show Today.

Co-star Jennifer Hudson, who will play Motormouth Maybelle, also addressed the timeliness of the TV musical, admitting the protest scenes onscreen remind her of the demonstrations thousands of her fellow Americans have staged following the controversial election of Donald Trump as the next U.S. President, after making offensive comments about African-Americans, Mexicans, Muslims, and women, among others, throughout his political campaign.

She continued, "Even in this (Hairspray Live!), we are marching, we're petitioning, you're trying to find a way to come together, trying to go against the odds of diversity and bring each other together, and now to be here today, to see (current events), like, 'Jeez, this is too familiar.'"

Hairspray Live!, based on the 1988 John Waters film, will air in the U.S. on 7 December (16), and Martin Short, who will portray Wilbur Turnblad, the doting husband of Harvey Fierstein's Edna Turnblad, hopes the show will make viewers think and bring people together.

"I think (the message I want viewers to take away from the broadcast is) understanding that we are all different and that's what makes us brilliant as a race, as a country," he explained.

© WENN Newsdesk 2016