From Broadway sensation to television newcomer, Megan Hilty might just be the next "Smash" hit. The 30-year-old is taking on her first leading lady role on the small screen in the new series "Smash," where she plays the role of Ivy, a singer who competes for the role of Marilyn Monroe in a new Broadway play.
"She is a person who eats, breathes, sleeps theater and grew up doing theater, and all she ever wanted to do was be a leading lady on Broadway," Hilty told MTV News about her character. "When you meet her she's spent about ten years in the ensemble. She feels stuck and wants to make that next step to become a leading lady, and she's willing to do just about anything to make that happen."
At the age of 25, Hilty was starring on Broadway in the hit musical "Wicked," and in 2008 she joined the musical adaptation of the film, "9 to 5." With such an extensive musical background, stepping into the shoes of Ivy for "Smash" was an easy transition for Hilty.
"When I saw the script I was like, 'This is too good to be true, to do a television show about my world.' " Hilty said. "I am one of those kids that grew up eating, breathing sleeping theater, I still do it. It's literally a dream-come-true job. I do identify with her and I think a lot of people can identify with this character, regardless of what profession you're in. I think everybody knows what it feels like to feel stuck and not feel like people understand your full potential, so I think she is very identifiable."
This isn't the first time Hilty has been in front of the camera. She has made several television appearances, including small roles on "Desperate Housewives," "Ugly Betty" and the Disney series "The Suite Life of Zack and Cody." Yet, with all these guest roles, Hilty never would have imagined she would make the leap to leading lady.
"It was something that I never really thought was possible." Hilty admitted. "I always thought Broadway's the goal, and then I moved out to L.A. with "Wicked" and started doing guest-star spots and little recurring things and I was like, 'Well, this is pretty great, I'm kind of digging this.' "
So now that Hilty is on the road to stardom, she hopes to follow in the footsteps of some of her idols. "I look at the people's careers who I want to emulate, like Audra McDonald, Kristin Chenoweth, Bernadette Peters." Hilty said. "They've all found the key to longevity in this business, and that is diversifying, doing as many things as possible to keep yourself relevant, and so hopefully I'm on the same track as all those amazing women."
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