Katharine McPhee Hopes ‘Smash’ Will Be A Smash

SMASH -- "Callbacks" Episode 102 -- Pictured: Katharine McPhee as Karen Cartwright -- Photo by: Will Hart/NBC

The musical-drama Smash kicks off with an all-star cast as it follows the lives of Broadway hopefuls and the powerbrokers who can make or destroy dreams all in search of a smash hit.

The cast includes Oscar winner Anjelica Huston as a tough producer and Emmy winner Debra Messing as a gifted musical playwright.

The promising newbies include American Idol season five runner-up Katharine McPhee, who knows a thing or two about auditioning in front of a tough group of judges. And it was the Idol experience that helped her steel her nerves.

“There is nothing wrong in knowing where you came from and where you got the stepping stone,” McPhee acknowledges. “For some it’s been a massive launching pad and for me it’s been a slow build. I’m very appreciative of it.”

The audition for the role of Karen Cartwright on Smash was relatively easy for McPhee, but then she had to wait for Executive Producer Steven Spielberg to give his seal of approval to her joining the cast.

“I went in on a Friday to put myself on tape,” she begins. “I was OK and cool with giving them time to watch my tape,” McPhee deadpans.

Truth is, the actress/singer met the Oscar-winning filmmaker right after Idol…at his request.

“He wanted to meet me so I think there was a direct connection between the show and the meeting, knowing that he has had this idea for the show for five to six years now,” McPhee says convinced. “I know this has been in the pipeline.”

McPhee is also quick to point out that Smash doesn’t simply focus in on the drama unfolding for the actors, but rather the entire production adventure…good and bad. And her hopes are high that audiences will get hooked on Smash quickly.

“It’s really about making a Broadway show,” she insists. “Obviously the star is always the one that gets the attention because you don’t see what goes on behind the scenes, but that’s what’s interesting about our show. I think that people are intrigued about what happens behind the scenes…what the writers go through, what the director goes through, and what the actors go through. Hopefully people will just watch the show.”

Smash airs Mondays, 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on NBC.

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