'In My Dreams' Katharine McPhee: 'American Idol,' 'Smash' alum trying to 'steer away' from music-driven acting

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katharine-mcphee-in-my-dreams-abc.jpgKatharine McPhee doesn't mind having music attached to one of her acting roles, but it's not required.

The "American Idol" and "Smash" alum proves it Sunday (April 20) in ABC's "In My Dreams," a new "Hallmark Hall of Fame" fantasy-drama casting her as a restaurateur destined to find romance only -- you guessed it -- in her dreams, unless she and the man (Mike Vogel, "Under the Dome") who's mutually dreaming of her meet in real life within a one-week window.

McPhee also goes tuneless in the CBS series pilot "Scorpion," playing a waitress with ties to a network of specially gifted, danger-fighting geniuses. As much as she enjoyed both acting and singing regularly as Broadway hopeful Karen Cartwright on NBC's "Smash," she maintains "it's not unusual for me at all" to have interest in a non-singing project.

"Listen, I was super-grateful for 'Smash' in so many ways," McPhee tells Zap2it, "just because it fulfilled all these dreams I had, but I've always wanted to just be an actor. It's not something you tell everybody -- you want to go out and make it happen, as opposed to just talking about it -- but 'Smash" ended up being the thing that opened doors for me.

"At this point, I try to steer away from things that are so music-related," McPhee adds, "but I'm not closed off to them. If something's an amazing thing to do, I want to be able to. The basic thing actors want is to be able to do different things and feel like they're challenged, and I've been excited and grateful for all the prospects."

As evidence that music is still on her menu, McPhee is well along in prepping a new album she hopes to have out later this year. She's also trying to map out a professional reunion with fellow "Smash" veteran Megan Hilty, who played Karen's rival Ivy.

"We've been trying to get some shows together," McPhee reports, "but our schedules are hard and she's going to have a baby, so we'll try to figure it out. We'll both be in New York at the end of the month to do a big charity event at Carnegie Hall with ('Smash' composers) Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman, and it'll be great to reunite."
Photo/Video credit: ABC