While Megan Hilty is best known for her Broadway turns in 9 TO 5: THE MUSICAL and WICKED, moving to TV was much easier than expected when she landed the role of Ivy Lynn on NBC’s new hit series SMASH.
It’s set in the world of Broadway, with Ivy being a long-time chorus girl on Broadway who is given the chance to workshop the role of Marilyn Monroe on the series’ fictitious play BOMBSHELL. Of course things don’t go as planned, with unexpected rivalry with newbie Karen (Katharine McPhee) and now, with a movie star (Uma Thurman) coming in to snatch the role on the show.
Hilty is one of SMASH’s major stand-outs with her nuanced and tortured Ivy getting some of the best and more interesting storylines on the series. Even though she admits Broadway is harder, she is loving the experience on television – especially since so much of the series hits close to home.
Hilty spoke briefly with ASSIGNMENT X in this exclusive interview about playing Ivy and how some of the experiences her character has faced ring quite true.
ASSIGNMENT X: The thing that I like the most about SMASH is that it doesn’t look at things in black and white. You root for both Ivy and Karen equally. In any other show, Ivy would have been written as a clear-cut villain, which she clearly is not.
MEGAN HILTY: It’s a real testament to the writing because you can’t classify someone as the villain and hero – it’s not interesting if somebody is predictable in how they behave. You love these characters for the great things that they do and in spite of the terrible things they do. They’re real and all human beings and they’re placed in very strange circumstances and they’re not always going to be perfect. I think that’s extremely relatable.
AX: How hard did you have fight to get this role – was it equal to what was happening on screen?
HILTY: It wasn’t the same thing – thank goodness. I never met the people I was up against. It was never a rivalry. Luckily they liked my take and the rest is kind of history.
AX: The show has taken an interesting journey in how the Marilyn role has shuffled around – first Ivy had it, then Karen flirted with it as an understudy and now a movie star is taking over.
HILTY: There is so much potential where this can go. Coming from this world. I’ve done workshops and developmental things like this for years. They’re so up and down. They’re like a roller coaster. There is no such thing as job security. So no matter who gets it, it doesn’t mean they’ll have it the next day. That makes [Ivy] look crazy a little bit. Certainly for Ivy she’s hyper-aware she could lose it at any second, so I think it makes her behave in ways that she wouldn’t normally.
AX: Was there any one moment that resonated with some experience you’ve lived through?
HILTY: We talk a lot about needing stars to make these things work. I’ve done a lot of readings and workshops where I’ve developed these things for people for weeks or months or whatever. And at the end, they’re like “we love you, you’re perfect, we can’t imagine anyone being better than you, we just need a star to do this.” So there are moments where it hits really close to home to me.
AX: TV or Broadway, which is harder to do, now that you’ve done both?
HILTY: Both are hard in different ways. It’s more physically taxing to do eight shows a week. It’s a whole energy thing. Eight shows, the adrenaline is pumping and you have to gauge your energy for the day before you go to work at night, it’s a very different thing. TV is different at dispersing your energy.
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Article Source: Assignment X
Article: Exclusive Interview with SMASH star Megan Hilty