...and why she likes theater better than pop music.

By Hayden Wright

When a big star like Ariana Grande accepts a small role in a televised musical, you might expect some diva behavior: demands for better music, special lighting, caviar between takes. As Grande prepares to play Penny in Hairspray Live, she insists that hasn’t been the case. The “Into You” singer says she wanted to honor the John Waters original by showing up on time, respecting the size of her role, and bringing her Broadway-honed A-game to the soundstage.

Related: Ariana Grande Shares A Cappella Video of ‘Into You’

“I don’t want to change anything about the role or how she develops,” she said, according to ETOnline. “I just love Penny and it’s such a great honor to play her. I don’t want any special icing or parts.”

The return to her musical theater roots reminded her where she got her start.

“Penny’s been my favorite character since the start,” she said. “This is such a dream come true for me because at heart, theater is everything to me… Pop music is so fun, but this is way much more fun. So much more.”

Hairspray Live! airs on December 7 on NBC, so there are months of rehearsals left. Plenty of time to step up that diva game (if Ari so chooses).

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