(1988 | 2007)
Link Larkin is a spunky and charming, but sweet and kind-hearted character who plays a major role in both the 1988 and current 2007 film.
Hairspray (1988 film) Edit
In the 1988 film, he is first seen at the record hop watching Tracy Turnblad dance, whom the latter is later chosen to attend the auditions for the Corny Collins show.
Link is also part of the show's committee, and he was impressed by Tracy's intellectual and all-rounded answers to the questions posed to her by the other committee members.
After Mr Macneil is accepted into the show, much to the Von Tussle's chagrin, Link becomes closer to the "pleasantly-plump" girl. Then one day after a P.E class on dodgeball left Tracy disheartened by Amber's cruelty, Link advises her on the true knowledge of sportsmanship. He then asks Tracy to be his girlfriend, which she happily accepts.
From that moment, the two are hardly seen apart, and we see Link's attitude to black Americans come to light where he happily joins Tracy and her friend Penny Pingleton to the black part of Baltimore to attend Maybelle "Motormouth" Stubbs' record party.
After the race riot at Tilted Acres Amusement Park which led to Tracy's arrest, Link becomes distraught as he is forced to watch Amber being crowned as the winner of the Miss Auto Show 1963.
However, all is not lost as Tracy, with the help of Motormouth Maybelle, her daughter Little Inez, and all of her supporters, gate-crashes the competition. The pair are reunited, and share a kiss as Baltimore is integrated for the first time.
The two then join in the dance that Tracy initiates, but are interrupted when the bomb hidden inside Velma's wig explodes prematurely. They watch in shock as the Von Tussles are arrested and Amber is publicly humiliated by her former dance members.
As the film closes, Link hands Tracy the crown, and joins in the celebrations as Tracy invites everyone to dance.
Hairspray (2007 film) Edit
In the 2007 film, Link's role was expanded. Here, he is Amber's estranged boyfriend, and his first encounter with Tracy was when he watches her dancing in the detention room with the Negro Day dancers.
Impressed by her moves, he invites her to attend the upcoming record hop hosted by Corny Collins himself, and unbeknownst to Link, Tracy becomes instantly smitten with him.
At the record hop, Link is performing as the lead singer, but Tracy steals the show, and impresses both him and Corny, much to Amber's horror.
As the movie progresses, Link's relationship with Tracy becomes more apparent, especially seen when he stands up for Tracy when she was falsely accused of drawing a caricature of their teacher with breasts, all part of Amber's plot to get her into trouble. When Tracy is sent to detention, Link tells the teacher to "kiss my ass", shocking Amber and the class, but leaving Tracy grateful.
Later on, Link joins Tracy and her friend Penny at Motormouth Maybelle's house for a platter party. However, in one moment, his and Tracy's relationship becomes strained when Maybelle comes with the news that "Negro Day" has been cancelled, especially when Tracy proposes they stage a protest, but Link decides to stay on the show.
After the protest goes awry, Link becomes concerned for Tracy's safety, especially when he hears the biased news reports on the radio. He stops by the Turnblad's residence, feeling guilty that he should have joined her in the protest, and his is welcomed inside by Edna, as they are all worried about Tracy's predicament.
Soon after, Link explores Tracy's room, and it was at his moment that his heart doesn't belong with Amber, he is in love with Tracy, saying that he wants to kiss her.
The next day, Link reluctantly attends the Miss Teenage Hairspray 1962 pageant with Amber, but all the while he couldn't stop worrying about Tracy. His worries are unfounded however, when Tracy gate-crashes the pageant, her hair straightened and wearing a checkerboard dress.
As Tracy gets in Amber's face and steals the spotlight, Amber tries to get Link to comfort her. But Link decided that enough was enough, he dumps her, and joins Tracy in the dancing, leaving Amber distraught. The two then share a hug amidst the applause, Tracy then tells him that the audience loves him. But he denies this, and pulls Little Inez onto the stage.
As the pair dance, Little Inez's dancing is an instant hit with the whole of Baltimore, and she is subsequently crowned the winner of the pageant, thus integrating the Corny Collins Show.
In the end, Link and Tracy share a kiss as their friends and Tracy's parents watch on happily.
Hairspray: The MusicalEdit
Link is also one of the main protagonists in the Hairspray stage version, He's also the boyfriend of Amber in the two movies, but like the movies he also came to have feelings for Tracy. The stage is different than both movies. He refuses to protest against the Von Tussles.
In the stage version when Tracy and her parents and Penny protested with Seaweed his mother and other black people, he sees what happens on TV. He feels remorse for not helping her when she was arrested by saying "Tracy, it was wonderful", knowing he should help her during the protest.
In the movies, Link goes to the jail overnight to free Tracy, and escapes with Seaweed and Penny to Motormouth place. In the end of the show he arrives with Tracy and dances with everybody.
Hairspray Live! (2016) Edit
Link was seen performing the opening intro of the Corny Collins Show, to "The Nicest Kids In Town". After the camera goes off, Link approaches to his girlfriend, Amber and gave her his ring, to make their relationship as an official. When the audition day happened at the studio, Link bumps into Tracy Turnblad, who has a crush on him, he apologised and called her "Little Darlin'", he was seen dancing with Tracy as she performs "I Can Hear The Bells".
Link was seen performing the opening intro of the Corny Collins Show to "The Nicest Kids In Town" with Tracy as the new member of the show. Link then performs his solo to "It Takes Two", charming the ladies, including Tracy. As he was about to end his solo, Tracy grabs Link and kisses him. Link was seen with his friends from the show, getting ready to play dodgeball at their school gym, and Amber comes up to him, and asked him why he kissed Tracy, but Link told her that it's a cool way to end the song.
Link saves the Negro kids from Fender, who teased them, telling him to knock it off and act like a grown up. Link then plays dodgeball with his friends, but was not happy when Amber hits Tracy with the ball on head. As the game ends, Link told Amber it's not necessary for her to hit Tracy. Amber tells him that she'll be waiting for him underneath the bleachers, before walking away. Link, Penny and Seaweed came to Tracy's aid, Link tells Tracy that she looks beautiful when she is unconscious, and he also said "I Can Hear The Bells". Link helps her up after she regain conscious. When Seaweed told Link, Penny and Tracy that his mother is throwing a platter party at Motormouth record store, Tracy asked Link if he would like to tag along. He accepts and Link leaves the school with Seaweed, Tracy and Penny as Seaweed performs "Run and Tell That". Link and Seaweed then became friends.
At the record store, Link was talking to the Negro kids and danced with the ladies, Amber arrives and asked Link why is he with the Negro kids, and he told her that he's trying to fit in and asked her to join him and the others, then Amber's mother, Velma arrives. As Amber and Velma leaves, Amber tells him to come with her, but Link sees how rude she was to his new friends and refuses to leave with her. When Tracy decided that the Negro kids should join the show everyday, Link tells her that she will get fired for that. Link chose to focus on the Hairspray contest and leaves, leaving Tracy traumatized.
Moments later, Link heard that Tracy was locked up in jail and thought he'd lost her. He tells Velma that he's done with the contest and tells Amber that he's breaking up with her, since he's in love with Tracy. Amber and Link breaks up and Amber returns his ring to Link, by throwing it at his face. He was seen taking out the trash can, near by Tracy's cell. After crashing one of the bins, Tracy spoke, and Link comes up to her cell bars and told her that she looks beautiful behind bars. Link asked her if she can forgive him, and that he is wrong about everything, and he does care for their friends, will do anything to help them all. He mentioned to her that when he thought he lost her, he couldn't eat or sing.
He told Tracy that he told Velma that he is done with the contest. He told Tracy that the show was using him to make Amber look more popular and that he's been an idiot, while she's been so brave. He takes off his ring, saying it's a little something from Amber, who threw it at his face, when he told her that he rather be with Tracy and asked Tracy if she consider wearing his ring. Tracy takes it and put it on her finger. Tracy talks to Link that she has a wonderful life and asked him does he know what she's been missing. He replied that he think he does, and the two tries to kiss, but they kept hitting their heads on the bars. Link then sings "Without Love", as Tracy, Penny and Seaweed joins him. During Link singing "Trac, I wanna kiss ya", Tracy shakes the bars and it breaks apart, Link remove them from the window and helps Tracy out.
They reunite with Seaweed and Penny at the streets and danced together. Link, Tracy, Penny and Seaweed then ran to Motormouth record store in hiding. Tracy decided to confess since Link might go to prison, since he broke her free. Link joins with Tracy and the Negro kids and plan to get into the Corny Collins Show. Link was seen escorting Tracy on stage as he and she performs "You Can't Stop The Beat" as Penny, Seaweed and their friends joins them. Link then tells Tracy if he doesn't kiss her right now, he might just bust his guts out. They then share a passionate kiss in front of everyone. Then Link and Tracy dance to "You Can't Stop the Beat" and shares another kiss, before posing to their final pose to the song.