"Smash" is headed back to NBC this fall, and no one's more excited than Megan Hilty.
Now being helmed by former "Gossip Girl" showrunner Josh Safran, the series is seeing more than a few changes. Not only have some of the key actors left the show, but Season 2 is welcoming is Tony nominee Jeremy Jordan and Oscar winner Jennifer Hudson.
In honor of a dinner being thrown in support of "Smash" Season 2 by Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte, Hilty, who plays Ivy Lynn, took a few minutes to speak with HuffPost via phone to discuss the upcoming season of "Smash," her character's ongoing feud with Karen Cartwright (Katherine McPhee), and her dream duet with Hudson.
I know there's been quite the cast shakeup for Season 2. What do you think it's going to be like with all these actors missing? Raza Jaffrey, Will Chase, Brian d'Arcy James...
Well, the energy is definitely going to be different. But this kind of change is inevitable in any business, but particularly ours. I've certainly experienced it personally. It's going to be sad not to see my old friends around, but we're going to make new friends too. It'll be fun.
What do you think about cast additions like Jeremy Jordan and Jennifer Hudson?
I'm so excited. I'm such a huge fan of Jennifer's, and I can't wait. I'm hoping that we'll actually get to do a duet while she's with us. And everybody else is just fantastic.
What would be your dream duet with Jennifer Hudson?
I secretly love the song "No More Tears." It's my go-to karaoke song that I do with all my friends. I'm sure they would never do it, but I would love to!
Fans were pretty vocal about their dislike of Ellis. Were you surprised by that?
I guess so, but you have to have villains, and you have to have people who behave badly in order for the plot to move forward. Just the fact that people felt so strongly is a good sign that people are invested in the story and the characters.
You told us earlier this year that you wanted to see Allison Janney on the show. How's your campaign for her going?
I think it's going pretty well, because everyone's responded very positively toward it. But she's so busy, who knows if she could ever actually do it. But everybody loves the idea, because everyone loves her.
How do you feel about working with the new showrunner [Josh Safran]?
So far we haven't done much. We've had lunch together, and he's a really great guy with fantastic ideas. He's got such a great energy, and I'm really looking forward to working with him. Tomorrow will be the first day!
Do you think he's going to bring big changes to Season 2 in terms of tone and energy?
I'm sure. Just with the new cast alone, I'm sure it's going to change a lot. I'm sure me and Katherine are still going to be feuding about something. I don't think that'll ever go away. I hope it doesn't!
Where do you see Ivy going? How will her character evolve and change?
I'm hoping that she gets it together a little bit, and that she can actually have something she can celebrate and not feel insecure about because of certain people. I'd kind of like her to get something and have it taken away again. But if she just has a moment of happiness that would be great for me!
Do you think we'll see any resolution in her relationship with Derek this season?
I don't know, but I think that's something that would be really interesting to watch.
Can you give us any clues about Season 2?
I don't really know much. I read the first script, and that's it. But I'm hoping to squeeze more information out of Josh!
What will the music be like this season?
I do know there will be a lot more music. In the first episode, I think there's something like four songs. It's really exciting and they've picked great music. I'm really excited to see where it goes.
So what's the deal with this rival musical?
I know they're getting a couple of new writers for that music, and I'm really excited to see who they find. That's such a huge element of what actually happens in New York. I'm glad they're capturing that in the storyline!
Can you tell me a little bit about your partnership with Champagne Nicolas Feuillatte? Are you excited they're promoting "Smash"?
I'm so excited. Their rose champagne is my favorite thing to drink ever, so it's very exciting for me personally to get to work with them on this, and to ring in Season 2 with them! It's going to be a really special night.
"Smash" returns to NBC in the fall.