Nicole Scherzinger "did not want to consider" starring in 'Sunset Boulevard' when she was first approached.

Nicole Scherzinger won an Olivier Award for her work on Sunset Boulevard

Nicole Scherzinger won an Olivier Award for her work on Sunset Boulevard

The former Pussycat Dolls singer won Best Actress in a Musical for her portayal of Norma Desmond in the West End production at the Olivier Awards on Sunday (14.04.24) but director Jamie Lloyd has admitted the 45-year-old star was "not flattered" when she was first asked to play the fading silent movie star.

The role of Norma in the stage adaptation of the 1950 movie was originated by Patti LePone, who was 44 when it opened in London in 1993, and is most associated with Glenn Close, with the 'Fatal Attraction' star taking the lead in Los Angeles in 1994 before transferring with the production to New York's Broadway and Nicole didn't want to be seen as a "much older woman".

Speaking to Deadline's Breaking Baz column backstage at the awards ceremony, he admitted: “Nicole was not flattered.

"[The show is] obviously associated with Glenn Close’s iconic performance and therefore people think about Norma Desmond being a much older woman.”

The director explained Nicole branded Norma a "has been" and raged that she “still looks good under the bright lights.”

Undeterred, Jamie encouraged the 'Poison' hitmaker - who will stay with the production when it opens on Broadway later this year - to study Don Black and Christopher Hampton’s book and lyrics and to listen to Andrew Lloyd Weber’s music.

He said: ”I think it’s Andrew’s greatest score. It’s complex and challenging, so atmospheric and so surprising.”

Jamie had had a “weird sort of fever dream” that only Nicole could play the role because he felt she had a “real connection to Norma’s story”.

He said: “Nicole, who has experienced great things and then, when you think about it, in many ways has been dismissed as an artist and has never really been given the opportunity to show the world what she’s really capable of doing.”

The 43-year-old director urged Nicole not to think about any of the actresses who had played the role before her, including Elaine Paige and Petula Clark.

He said: “If you start at something afresh and you do it confidently then you start to rediscover new ways of trying to tell the story…the key was having conversations and Nicole was so open in those conversations that eventually she agreed to play Norma.”