MEGAN HILTY: SINGING BEAUTY

Megan Hilty is something special. From Broadway’s coverted stages as Glinda in Wicked and Doralee Rhodes in 9 to 5: The Musical, Hilty is now lighting up our television screens as Ivy Lynn on the NBC breakout hit SMASH. Devilishly beautiful as she glides across the dance floor, Megan makes us stand up and take notice.

THE BREAKDOWN

HOMETOWN: Bellevue, WA

HOMEGROWN OR FOREIGN MEN: I’m an equal opportunist!

DESIGNER CRUSH: Zac Posen

CLOSET FAITHFULS: Alice & Olivia, Stop Staring, Cynthia Rowley, Rachel Roy

I NEVER LEAVE HOME WITHOUT MY… Makeup Bag

LAST iPOD DOWNLOAD: James Vincent McMorrow – I’m obsessed

IF I WASN’T AN ACTRESS, I’D BE… A chef. I love cooking but more importantly I love feeding people.

GUILTIEST PLEASURE: The Real Housewives of… any city! LOVE THEM!!!

I LOVE MY… two jack russell terriers – Harley and Gracie

FAVE GETAWAY: The Palazzo in Las Vegas

FIRST AUDITION: Oliver. I was 8

FAVE BAND/ ARTIST: Whitney Houston

BIGGEST INFLUENCE: My Mom

ON A FRIDAY NIGHT I’D FIND YOU… Catching up with friends or catching up on the TV shows I missed that week.

MANTRA TO LIVE BY: Just Keep Breathing

THE SINGING BELLE: MEGAN HILTY

HYDROGEN MAGAZINE: Where did you grow up and what were the early years like?

MEGAN HILTY: I grew up in Bellevue WA, just outside of Seattle and my early years were FULL of
music! I was always singing and trying to sound like the many different artists my parents would play for me.

HM: When did acting and theatre come into the picture?

MH: I did little productions when I was a kid but it wasn’t until I started the Bellevue Youth Theater around age 12 that I realized this was actually something I could make a career out of.

HM: What would you say was your first big break?

MH: Definitely when I got the Glinda Standby in Wicked. I was still in college when I auditioned and didn’t think I had any kind of chance to get it! They called a few days after and offered me the job and I was both excited and terrified at the same time!

HM: Wicked is one of Broadway’s biggest hit shows. How did the role of Glinda happen for you?

MH: Craig Burns, a casting director in NY saw me at my college showcase and originally called me in for a different show, but when the Wicked replacement auditions started a few weeks after but decided to take a chance on me and bring me in. I really owe everything to him!

HM: Tell me a bit about that character through your eyes.

MH: She is a girl who is born into a life of privilege and seems to be completely self-absorbed. Throughout the course of the show she befriends someone who she wouldn’t normally even be seen with but through their friendship she transforms into a beautiful woman who learns that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

HM: SMASH is a runaway hit, where you play Ivy Lynn who is vying for the role of Marilyn Monroe in a planned stage production. Tell me about her.

MH: She is someone who eats, sleeps and breathes theater and has always dreamed of becoming a leading lady on Broadway. When you meet her, she has spent several years in the ensemble of several Broadway shows but hasn’t yet reached her goal. Through the course of season one, Ivy struggles with just how far she’s willing to go to make her dreams come true.

HM: What of yourself do you bring to the role and is that necessary, to identify with a character you play or to find redemptive qualities to them?

MH: For one thing, I come from a theatrical background so I really understand where she’s coming from. I also identify with the feeling of being stuck in your career and thinking that no one is willing
to see your full potential. I think it’s a pretty relatable situation no matter what profession you’re in. Ivy’s just willing to go a little farther than I would in a lot of the sticky situations she’s faced with!

HM: Your character and Katharine McPhee’s character are rivals, chasing the Holy Grail – the role of Marilyn. But what are things like behind the scenes?

MH: We’ve actually grown quite close – to the point where it was sad to say goodbye at the end of shooting season one. We spend a lot of time together and we’re both complete goof-balls so we’re always trying to make each other laugh!

HM: Your cast on SMASH includes legendary actress Angelica Houston and Debra Messing just to name two. What is it like to be in such accomplished company and what would you say you have learned from them?

MH: On top of their incredible talent, these are two of the most loving, caring and supportive women I’ve had the pleasure to work with. It’s truly an honor to share the screen with such legends.

HM: What do you make of the SMASH’s and GLEE’s of the world and the seeming cross over appeal where Broadway meets television?

MH: It’s wonderful to have shows that celebrate an appreciation for the arts. GLEE does such a wonderful job of making it not only socially acceptable but actually very cool to love singing and hopefully our show will do the same for the Broadway and musical theater in general.

HM: Where do you see the story of Megan Hilty going in say 5 years, both personally and professionally?

MH: I want to do everything – and I don’t think that’s too ambitious! I just love working so who knows what I’ll be doing but hopefully I’ll be very busy!

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