Playboy.com: You’ve been trending across the Internet this week. Do you check what’s being said online?
Hilty: Really?! [laughs] I don’t Google myself or look at anything like that online. All it takes is one bad thing to start off my day the wrong way. The curiosity is always there, but it just takes one… it takes me a while to get over. I really don’t have the thickest skin when it comes to that but I think it’s getting better.
Playboy.com: One big topic is about you being an accurate fit for Marilyn, and the show breaking casting stereotypes with regards to your body shape. What has been your reaction to that commentary?
Hilty: What’s really interesting for me, and it’s been coming up a lot in interviews for me, are questions like, “What kind of padding are wearing when you’re playing Marilyn? What are you doing to beef up for the role, or to fill out the Marilyn curve?”
I’m like, “Sorry guys, I’m not padding myself. I’m just a real person.” [laughs] Now it’s been turning into “Megan’s smashing the stereotypes on TV,” and if that’s the case – it’s great. But I’m just a real person on television. I feel like it’s turned into something that is bigger than it should be –but I do feel like I look different than a lot of people on television. I used to think I’d never be on television as everybody is skinny and perfect; but it seems to have happened in spite of my body type. It’s coming out like I’m so wildly different, but I’m not.
Playboy.com: You’re right, and as you might know, our first cover model for Playboy in 1953 was Marilyn herself and those curves defined a generation of women.
Hilty: Exactly. I couldn’t agree more! I think I’m just fine! [laughs]
Playboy.com: What was your first time reading Playboy?
Hilty: Oh gosh. It was when Hef’s three girlfriends were on the cover. I loved The Girls Next Door and I think that was my first adult experience reading the magazine; it’s so artfully done. They’re so beautiful and I was intrigued to see my ladies.
Playboy.com: What would entice our readership watch Smash?
Hilty: I think its scaring people, because people are like, “It’s about musical theater. That’s so far away from me – I don’t get that. I don’t like people bursting into song.” Our show isn’t like that, it’s a very sexy show. You’ll see quickly the world of Broadway is risqué, and we stay pretty true to that.
Playboy.com: Does Ivy get more risqué?
Hilty: Just wait for Monday [laughs]. She’s very comfortable in her skin.
Playboy.com: Who would you say are your role models?
Hilty: Audra McDonald, and Kristin Chenoweth, and Alison Janney – all these people who seem to transcend different types of art. Women who are in different films, and TV, and voice overs…I want to do everything just like them.
Playboy.com: What do you have upcoming.
Hilty: We’re shooting through March, but I’ve got a stage production coming up; I’m doing Gentlemen Prefer Blondes. I’m working on an album with Columbia and Sony Masterworks, and I do a lot of voice over work. I’ve got a film out this fall called Dorothy of Oz, I work for Disney…and I’ve got a new cartoon coming out on Nickelodeon called Robot & Monster. I love that part of my career, I get to go into a booth and act like a crazy person for four hours.
Playboy.com: Got a favorite voice role so far?
Hilty: It’s got to be for Robot & Monster. Kids will like it but adults will enjoy the humor. [My character] is JD, and she’s a big blue alien-looking creature – but she’s got this huge rack which is hilarious!
Playboy.com: What was your favorite on-set experience?
Hilty: I love going to work every day, and it sounds so mushy but I love working with these people. It’s literally everything I love in one job. This is totally my dream role.
Playboy.com: What’s the hardest challenge you’ve had to overcome so far in your career?
Hilty: I think the hardest thing that I’ve had to overcome was being OK with my performance and not trying to be somebody else. I hope that’s not too cliché. My first job was with Wicked and while I didn’t take over for Kristen Chenoweth, I was her replacement’s standby. The bar was so high, and I thought forever I had to do their performance. It was only when I realized that I may not be as pretty, or funny, or touching or anything but I need to be OK with what I bring to the plate. It was a really tough lesson to learn, and it’s something I still have a problem with. It’s something you have to remind yourself of. It may not be the best, but it’s the best that I can do.
SMASH airs on NBC Monday's @ 10/9c