Smash rivals Megan Hilty and Katharine McPhee are real-life friends. No, seriously, they actually do like each other – quite a bit, in fact. Case in point: the two were spotted out together to celebrate McPhee’s 30th birthday on March 26, 2014. There’s even posted a selfie on Facebook to prove it.
While the short-lived NBC show about “making it” in New York City’s theatre community didn’t last long (it only ran two seasons), it spawned much deserved recognition for the two talented women actually, well – making it – in Hollywood. We’ll focus on one of them today.
Northwest native Hilty is originally from Bellevue, Washington. The 32-year-old actress/singer scored her big break in Broadway’s Wicked straight out of college at the famed Carnegie Mellon School of Drama. From there, it was onto Dolly Parton’s role in the stage production of the 1980 film 9 to 5. Since then, she’s appeared on Desperate Housewives, The West Wing, The Closer, CSI: Crime Scene Investigation, The Suite Life of Zack & Cody, and Sean Saves the World.
Hilty will next be seen in the Wesley Taylor web series titled “It Could Be Worse,” alongside McPhee. Seems we’ve come full circle! But not before one more stop in her home state of Washington to perform with the Seattle Men’s Chorus in their spring production of Totally Wicked!
What are some of your favorite Northwest traditions?
My personal tradition is visiting the Pike Place Market every time I come home – my first stop being the mini-donut stand!
Being from Bellevue, do you enjoy visiting the area on tour?
Always. I love bringing whatever I’ve been working on in New York City back home to the Northwest.
What do you miss most when you’re away from Seattle?
My family and the people. There’s no place with cooler people than Seattle.
You played Glinda in Wicked. What were some of your favorite moments from being involved in the theatre production of one of the world’s most beloved musicals?
That’s a hard question to answer. I spent almost five years with the production and it was my first job out of college. I grew up during my run with the show. To pick a moment or two that’s better than the rest would be almost impossible. I will say that I met and worked with some of the most incredible women that will be lifelong friends because of what we shared together on and offstage.
You also starred in a role that helped put Dolly Parton on the film map – 9 to 5. What was that experience like for you as an actress and singer?
At first, terrifying. To play Dolly’s role in front of her every day was daunting to say the least, but she was so wonderful that all my fears quickly vanished. It was a great challenge trying to pay homage to her iconic performance and making it my own at the same time.
Speaking of singing and acting, you did both simultaneously while on network TV’s popular show, Smash. What did you take with you when that show ended? Not physically, as in props, unless you did…
When Smash ended, I was extremely grateful for the experience. It always felt like we were part of something special.
Were you close to any of the actors on set? Anything fun you can share about your time there?
I’m very close with Katharine. We loved goofing around on set and making the crew laugh.
What is the best part about performing with a chorus, such as the Seattle Men’s Chorus?
It’s always such an honor working with such talented singers and musicians. The last time we sang together was a ton of fun so I’m expecting Totally Wicked to be a blast!
Tickets to catch Megan Hilty in the Seattle Men’s Chorus show Totally Wicked are available online, at the box office Monday through Friday from noon to 7 p.m., and by phone (206) 388-1400.