“Smash” Star Megan Hilty Knows All About Real Backstage Broadway Drama

While TV viewers may be getting their first hit of Megan Hilty, the “Smash” star knows a little something about creating a sensation on stage.

Before landing the role of Ivy, the sexy, ambitious actress who competes with Katherine McPhee’s Karen for the coveted role of Marilyn Monroe in “Smash’s” musical extravaganza, Hilty became Broadway’s blonde bombshell of choice after a year-long stint as Glinda the Good Witch in the phenomenally successful show “Wicked,” followed by a critically acclaimed turn in the Dolly Parton part in the stage musical adaptation of the film “9 to 5.”

Her performance thus informed by her real life bona fides, Hilty shares what it’s like to be part of a smash, and part of “Smash.”

On how “Smash” plotlines compare to actual Broadway backstage intrigue:

“The wonderful thing about the show is that there are so many people here that come from this world that it keeps it very authentic. I can't tell you how many times I've been backstage, looking around, going "Where's the camera? There needs to be a camera here." Because the drama that happens behind the curtain is way more interesting than what's happening on the stage.”

On the natural drama that arises in the world of musical theater:

“I think the genius of making this idea into a series is that when you are a live performer, you're giving so much of yourself and there's so much at stake when you're out and exposing yourself in front of hundreds of thousands of people that it naturally sets the tone and sets the stage for high drama. Because the adrenaline's going and the stakes are so high and there's so much at stake, and this show definitely taps into all of those things. And, yes, all of those stereotypes are there for a reason.”

On how Marilyn Monroe’s life would provide perfect fodder for a splashy stage show:

“Marilyn’s story is one of tragedy, heartbreak, glamour, love and all things that make for great drama, all things that people want to watch and are intrigued by, which is why we're still talking about her today, which is another amazing reason to make the show.”

On how “Smash” showcases her shapely form:

“I love that it celebrates a real woman's body. I'm not a tiny thing. I feel like I represent a lot of real people, and so I appreciate that they cast me considering that and that we can kind of celebrate it…Because I went to college with a lot of skinny girls, dancers and stuff. I've always been surrounded by people who were very conscious about their weight – and obsessively so. And I just never wanted it to be something that was a priority to me. I didn't want it to be something that drove me crazy. My mom is a great example of loving herself, and, of course, I want to be healthy. It's all about balance, but I'm not going to make myself crazy to look like somebody on the cover of a magazine.”

On the enduring allure – and current comeback – of womanly curves:

“Marilyn's a great example. There are a lot of women now, too, you know. Appreciating a real woman's body is coming back, thanks to people like Kim Kardashian and Christina Hendricks, and there are tons people that I could give as examples.”


"Smash" airs Monday nights at 10 PM ET on NBC

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