LOS ANGELES — Katharine McPhee has a new song coming out, but you won’t be able to find the tune at your local record shop. It’s a cover song of the 1982 classic “I Know What Boys Like,” it has a “We Are the World”-worthy group of celebrities providing backing vocals, and you can hear it soon — at a theater near you.
“Yes, I will be singing, along with the other ladies,” McPhee said of the track when we visited the set of her August 22 flick “The House Bunny,” which back then was planning to name itself after the song. “[We’ll] be bringing back an old song to life. It’s a lot of fun.”
For those unaware of the original track, “Boys” was a landmark in the ’80s new-wave movement, recorded by Akron, Ohio, band the Waitresses. Mixing playful lyrics, jazz-influenced saxophone and a snotty “nyah-nyah” chorus, the track remains a mandatory inclusion on any ’80s compilation. This time around, McPhee has updated the track alongside co-stars Emma Stone, Rumer Willis, Kat Dennings and others.
“She does know,” Anna Faris teased her co-star. “We’ve confirmed it: She does know what boys like.”
“We had a ton of fun in the studio, with the girls going in there and giving it their all,” McPhee said. “It’s very cute, so I had a blast. And it was a lot different than making a record. There was no pressure; it was just a fun thing.”
The flick follows Shelly (Faris), a Playboy Bunny who gets tossed out of Hef’s house and ends up becoming house mother to the Zeta Alpha Zeta sorority girls. Once the makeovers are complete, the laughs have been had and the lessons are learned, the film’s actresses engage in an impromptu music video, with McPhee’s “Boys” providing the soundtrack.
“I actually didn’t know the song,” she explained of the Waitresses’ original. “So I had to learn it.”
“Not only do I sing it, but a bunch of the girls, we all went into the studio together,” the former “American Idol” star explained. “That was another great memory. And Emma rapped!”
“We wrote it out,” Stone responded, insisting she’s no freestyler. “There’ll be no rap album for me, I don’t think. I think M.I.A.’s doing it well. If I could be a little more like M.I.A., then maybe I’d try to rap. But I’m going to stick to what I know.”
Still, McPhee (who is making her acting debut in “House Bunny”) insisted that the 19-year-old “Superbad” star holds her own on the track. “Emma was down with it; she was a really great rapper,” McPhee explained, insisting that Stone was the new 50 Cent.
“I did channel him a little bit,” she said. “I was a little 50 Cent-like. But I was more like 10 or five. I was, like, nickel.”
Check out everything we’ve got on “The House Bunny.”
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