Smash star Megan Hilty recently gave us the scoop in an in-depth interview on her career as a real-life Broadway star (she played Glinda in Wicked!), her connection to a Glee star, and dished on whether or not Smash's Marilyn production would ever appear on Broadway. Turns out, the original concept for the show was to end with a real-like Broadway production at the completion of every season! Read on for our Q&A:
Cambio: Ivy gets the part of Marilyn on the show and is ecstatic. How did you react when you got the role on Smash?
Hilty: I literally cried all night. I called my parents, I was sobbing uncontrollably and they thought something was wrong, and I said, "No it's a good thing, I'm just really emotional!"
Cambio: I'm sure they were so happy for you!
Hilty: Yeah eventually, when they found out no tragedy had occurred!
Cambio: Some say that Smash is Glee for adults. Are you a fan of Glee?
Hilty: Oh absolutely! Matt [Morrison] is a good friend of mine and they've done so much in the way of not only making the arts cool but socially acceptable. They really paved the way for shows like ours to actually exist so we have a lot to thank them for.
Cambio: Has there been any talk of Marilyn becoming a real Broadway production?
Hilty: Well I love the fact that people are now really interested in seeing the show on Broadway, I would be too because Marilyn is a fascinating creature and her story is just so compelling. But you know, it takes years to make a musical and take it to Broadway. So, while the original idea when Smash was going into show time was that at the end of each season there would be a musical, it's not really feasible or possible to do it like that. But who knows, maybe it will spark some interest in making it.
Cambio: So you're saying there's a difference between how Broadway really is and how it's portrayed on the show.
Hilty: To a point, yeah, it takes years to develop this stuff. Some people fast track shows if the material is there and they believe in it and there's actually money behind it. Those cases are few and far between, but it does happen.
Cambio: Which do you prefer doing, TV or Broadway?
Hilty: They're very different. Really, I just like working. Luckily, I have a job where I get to do both. I love both so much and for different reasons.
Cambio: What would you say those reasons are?
Hilty: I mean there's nothing like performing in front of a live audience, and I love the sense of family that you get both in television shows and Broadway. Seeing the same people everyday you really create a special bond that I don't think you can [have] in any other business. In TV, it's just so fun, you get to go in and do something new everyday.
Cambio: Which one makes you more nervous?
Hilty: Performing in front of a live audience, that makes me much more nervous, because you can't just erase it and then do it over.
Cambio: Have you ever accidentally messed up on Broadway?
Hilty: All the time! I mean, we're human so mistakes happen all the time. But that's why you see theater. It's just like life. You see things happen and you want to see people work through them.
Watch Hilty and co-star Katharine McPhee dazzle on Smash, Mondays at 10/9c on NBC.