'Smash's' Megan Hilty 'just really sad' about Season 2 cast cuts

megan-hilty-red-carpet-nc-325.jpg Megan Hilty is ready to have a "Smash"-ing summer that will involve more than her series.

The Broadway veteran ("Wicked," "9 to 5: The Musical") will be in Washington, D.C., to open the show with a patriotic medley on PBS' annual holiday special "A Capitol Fourth" Wednesday, July 4. Right afterward, she goes into production on the sophomore round of NBC's musical drama "Smash," to begin airing at midseason.

"People have no problem stopping me anywhere and telling me exactly what they think about the show and my character," the friendly Hilty tells Zap2it with a big, knowing laugh. "And that's great. It means they're invested in the show and the relationships, and I love it."

They're also curious what will happen to Hilty's devious character Ivy, who evidently has lost the lead in the "Smash" show-within-the-show, the Marilyn Monroe musical "Bombshell." Having not seen new-season scripts yet, Hilty is more than a bit curious herself.

"I'm just speculating, but I hope she's going to get it together a little bit next season. I mean, she kind of has to. I'm really interested to see what happens, and since we start working July 10, we'll find out soon."

While Hilty is returning to "Smash," others aren't. Jaime Cepero (alias sneaky Ellis), Raza Jaffrey (Dev), Brian d'Arcy James (Frank) and Will Chase (Michael) all were cut from the cast after Season 1 finished, and series creator and showrunner Theresa Rebeck also is departing.

"I was just really sad," Hilty reflects about learning of those departures. "In this business, change is inevitable, unfortunately. I've certainly been let go from things before and been replaced and dealt with all of that, and it's no fun, whether it's you or your friends. But it's something that we always have to deal with."

Even before summer officially starts, Hilty has been having quite a time in her first "Smash" postseason. She also was in D.C. last weekend to attend the Washington Humane Society's annual Bark Ball, and on Monday (June 4), she was among the Great White Way stars performing for two U.S. presidents at a "Barack on Broadway" event in New York.

"It was an epic night for me," she states. "I've never been so starstruck in my life as when I met President Obama and Bill Clinton ... and at the same time, no less! I'm not one to be at a loss for words, and that was a moment when I really was speechless. It was a big, big night."
Photo/Video credit: NewsCom