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Megan Hilty: On Her Tour, Her Upcoming Film Roles, and Her First Pregnancy

When I think of old-school jazz acts, I think of gorgeous women hopping on stage in a curve-hugging number belting favorites by Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, and Billie Holiday. Jazz isn’t exactly in our Top40 so I had never seen a jazz act live before last weekend. But after Megan Hilty’s amazing performance at the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco, I have a feeling it won’t be my last.

To my surprise, even 4-months pregnant, Megan Hilty wore a curve-hugging black spaghetti-strap dress that made everyone’s jaws drop. Even 16 weeks into her pregnancy, she was still toned and drop-dead gorgeous. She was also getting over a cold so she put us all to shame that evening.

Hilty was accompanied by a pianist, a drummer, and a guitarist, who also happened to be her husband, Brian Gallagher. She delighted the audience for an hour with a selection of her favorite tunes from Smash, past symphony performances, and Wicked (her first job on Broadway).
There was a song for everyone. Besides her tour, Megan Hilty is working on a few films, with one releasing next month. Luckily, despite her busy schedule, she took the time to talk to Viva Glam about her latest projects.



As you have a background in Broadway, are you going to be singing mainly Broadway hits on your tour or will you be performing a mixture of styles?
I have an eclectic taste in music. It’s a mix of old jazz standards, but it’s a fun show. We like to make it feel you’re in our living room.

What’s your favorite genre to sing?
I do like the old jazz standards and the stuff that Marc [Shaiman] and Scott [Wittman] wrote in Smash. [I love to do] anything that I can do a big old belt [on] that doesn’t go too high.

You will be playing the Hotel Nikko in San Francisco next weekend. Have you played the venue before?
I played the room before when it was the Razz Room. I love the intimacy of it. The hotel is so great and we just love San Francisco so we’re all excited.

Do you do a meet and greet after the show?
I usually get to stay and say hi. I’m not someone that runs away. I like to say hi and sometimes we sell CDs.


What musical or character has had the biggest inspiration on your career?
They all have in different ways. I got to play Glinda in Wicked for almost 5 years.
That was the beginning of my career, so I grew up as a person and a performer in that show.

In the last few years, you were on two NBC shows, Smash and Sean Saves the World.
Are you preferring to work in TV rather than theatre at the moment or are the roles on TV currently more interesting?

I just prefer working! I don’t do well with down time. I like to fill up time with anything I can get my hands on. I try to make the roles all different so I don’t get pigeonholed, which is why I wanted to do Sean after Smash.
I wanted to [play] someone funny, play the smirky charcter, where I wasn’t singing, and that role came along, which was all of those things, and I got to work with Sean [Hayes] again so it just seemed like a no-brainer. It was fun!

When did you first work with Sean Hayes?
The first time I worked with him was on Smash when he was a guest star. He’s also a big producer in Hollywood so I’ve auditioned for him many times, and [had seen him] socially. I knew he was an amazing person but it wasn’t until I got to work with him on Smash when I really fell in love with him.

What role are you recognized the most for?
It’s really mixed. It shocks me. I had a one-day guest-starring role on Louie in the first season where I played a heckler. That’s really random but it’s a tossup between Louie and Smash.

You voice the character, China Princess, in Legends of Oz, which comes out in May. Your co-stars are some of the biggest names in the business, Lea Michele, Patrick Stewart, Kelsey Grammer, Bernadette Peters, to name a few. Did you get the chance to work with them or did you record alone?
It was all by myself. The only [press] we did together was at Comic-Con a couple of years ago. It was just me and Patrick Stewart.
It was the first time he had ever been to Comi-Con! It was a huge deal that he was there and for an animated film, [nonetheless]. It was so crazy. He was so awesome. We became this weird comedy duo.

Besides your tour and Legends of Oz, do you have any other projects on the horizon?
Currently I’m the middle of filming an untitled Warren Beatty film.
It’s a really cool period movie.

I play Rosetta in a Tinkerbell franchise for Disney and the new film, The Pirate Fairy, just came out. It’s awesome. It’s a prequel. You’re in Neverland before Peter Pan. It tested really well with little boys, too. It’s one of the best ones.


You just announced you’re pregnant! How far along are you?
We’re about 15 weeks in so we’re into our second trimester. I haven’t been [nauseated] at all. I got a cold this week, which I’m hoping to knock before I get to S.F., but that’s something I’m going to have to deal with.

What are you and your husband looking forward to the most when the baby arrives? Do you already know which lullabies you want to sing?

Kind-of. We’re putting together a list for a lullaby recording. We’re starting to film

at the concerts for the baby. We started it last weekend while we were in Seattle. [In the video] I was singing with the Seattle Men’s Chorus and they sang “Colors of the Wind”. We’re trying to find a way to [do something] at all of the concerts. We might film the audience for a second waving to the baby.

(Photo courtesy of Megan Hilty)

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