Katharine McPhee Smash

February 6, 2012 by staff 

Katharine McPhee Smash, Fresh-faced beauty Katharine McPhee came close to clinching the American Idol crown in 2006, emerging as the runner-up to Taylor Hicks.

Now, after three albums and a handful of acting gigs, she’s hitting a career high note with the NBC series Smash (Mondays, 10 p.m. ET), playing an actress angling for her big break in a Broadway musical about Marilyn Monroe.

When success doesn’t happen overnight, the 27-year-old with the prodigious pipes tells Shawna Malcom, “it’s much more sweet.” PARADE In researching Marilyn Monroe for Smash, did you find anything you could relate to?
She was in such a different league—I mean, she was a movie star! She was tormented by [the image] she created and the idea of being a sex symbol. I think I might ­relate to her the more I’m in the business—later, when I’m all jaded about life.

Is it true you tried out for Idol because you were having a hard time getting an acting career going?
Yeah, my thinking was, “I’m going to go on Idol ­because that will give me exposure. I’ll be the slightly chubby pretty girl they give a makeover to. I don’t care if I win. I probably won’t.” I never thought about a record deal.

Your fellow Idol finalist Kellie Pickler was a bridesmaid at your 2008 wedding [to producer Nick Cokas]. Were you upset when she eloped last year without you?
I was really mad! I’d gone to get fitted for a bridesmaid’s dress, and then she canceled the wedding to focus on her record and stuff. Then I heard about [the elopement] on Twitter! Kellie was like [adopts southern accent], “Girl, I’m so sorry.” I was bummed.

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