Laura Benanti: ‘People-pleasing is basically what broke my neck’

March 17, 2022 | 7:33pm

Laura Benanti blames her lifelong injuries on being a people pleaser.

“People-pleasing is basically what broke my neck,” the Broadway vet told Page Six at Hulu’s premiere of “Life & Beth” in New York City on Wednesday night.

“I broke my neck in 2002, it’s been 20 years. I have had two spinal surgeries, I have arthritis,” she continued. “Sometimes I’ll be carrying groceries and they’ll literally just fall on the ground and I have to wait until [the feeling] comes back in my hands.”

Benanti, 42, broke her neck while performing in “Into The Woods” when she was just 21 years old. Producers allegedly asked her to perform two pratfalls in the show, including one from a moving staircase.

“I never sued anybody. I didn’t get a settlement, I paid for my own surgeries,” she told Page Six, adding that she “would never let that happen” to herself again.

Benanti won a Tony for her role in “Gypsy.”
Getty Images

The “Younger” star also believes that this “never ever would have happened” to a man.

“The minute he would have said, ‘This doesn’t feel safe to me,’ they [producers] would have said, ‘Fine,’” she argued.

Recalling that tumultuous time in her life, Benati said that the worst part of it all was dealing with rumors claiming she was “difficult” to work with – all because she bowed out of the production early.

“I had no recourses to call up producers and say, ‘Hey, they’re not telling the truth about me. They’re telling the Post that I just don’t show up for work. I broke my f–king neck!’” she said.

Benanti plays Beth, Amy Schumer’s onscreen mom, in “Life & Beth.”
HULU

Instead, she was forced to deal with whispers of “she’s difficult, she’s talented, but I wish she’d show up,” calling the experience “a really, really hard time.”

Benanti went on to win a Tony for “Gypsy” in 2008 and has since appeared in dozens of TV shows and movies. Her latest role is playing Amy Schumer’s onscreen mom in “Life & Beth.” The two first worked together on Broadway when they starred in “Meteor Shower.”

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“Life & Beth” premieres March 18 on Hulu.

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