Megan Hilty may currently portray the China Doll Princess, but this isn’t her first time ruling Oz.
After playing Glinda in Broadway’s Wicked for years — and after stints on Smash and Sean Saves the World — Hilty returns to the wonderful world of Oz with her role in the animated The Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return. Joining an all-star cast, including Lea Michele as Dorothy, as well as Martin Short, Dan Aykroyd, Kelsey Grammer, and Jim Belushi, this time around, Dorothy runs into new friends and foes, including one very bossy and demanding princess.
Hilty is no stranger to musicals (you can get a first listen to the Legends of Oz songs here), and when she sat down with EW last week, we asked her about the recent trend of musicals coming to television — no doubt Smash helped things along. “I just heard [about Grease]! That’s so exciting,” the onetime Ivy Lynn said, and confirmed she would love to be involved. “Not sure who exactly I would play, but I think it would just be so much fun.” Below, check out what Hilty had to say about onscreen beau Hugh Dancy and her favorite number from dearly departed Smash — as well as an exclusive clip from Legends of Oz.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: What made you want to be involved with Legends of Oz?
MEGAN HILTY: Well, first of all, I just love doing voice-over work for any animated project. This script was so great, and the cast involved with it is crazy — it’s big name after big name after big name. I was dying to be a part of it from day one.
And your character has a romantic relationship with Hugh Dancy’s character?
Yeah! Oh yeah! It got real hot and heavy in the studio. [Laughs] I’ve never even met him. His voice is so wonderful and he’s so great. I heard this is his first singing role, and he sounds fantastic. We have a trio — “Even Then” — that we do together, it’s so beautiful. I’d like to think me and Hugh have really great chemistry. [Laughs]
What’s the romantic obstacle you two have to deal with?
Hmm…what can I tease? Well, there is a romantic obstacle — her name rhymes with Schmorothy. I think her attitude — the China Doll Princess — her attitude in the beginning is kind of an obstacle for them. I don’t know that anybody would really want to date someone who treats people like that.
Can you tell me a little about the music?
Bryan Adams is one of the composers on the film, which is very exciting because I’ve always been a fan of his. And the music is just great. It’s stuff that kids will love and I sure had a lot of fun singing it.
Tell me about the songs you’re a part of.
Well, I’m in three of them. The China Doll Princess has this suitors song that she sings to reject everybody, and then that trio song with Lea and Hugh, and then I do several voices in “Work With Me.” I play like a mouse, and a hedgehog. I was just playing around and letting them do scratch vocals and then they kept them in there!
You were Glinda in Wicked. What kind of conversations did you have with Bernadette Peters about being Glinda in the film?
I think we found out that she got the film while she was on Smash, and she was playing my mother on Smash so we just thought that was so funny that now she was playing Glinda, a role that I played for years and years on Broadway.
Do you think you’ll ever return to Oz? There’s always talk about a Wicked movie.
That would be amazing! But I’m sure there’s someone much younger and fancier that they would want.
I think you’ve got some fans in the EW offices.
Well, thank you. I would love to be a part of it.
I’m going to briefly bring up Smash. What was your favorite scene/song to perform?
That’s hard! I really, really loved doing “Let’s Be Bad.” It was so early on in the show but it was just great. I was playing a character, that was playing a character, that was playing a character. So there were lots of things going on.
What’s next for you?
Well, [points to stomach] I’m going to have a little girl in September! In between now and then a lot of concerts. Oh! And I’m working on a film with Warren Beatty. I don’t know that I can speak much about it; I haven’t even read the script. He won’t let me read the script! [laughs] I’ve worked on it for several days, and I have one more day to go back and shoot. It’s one of those things where you don’t really know what you’re doing until you show up! And it’s called “The Untitled Warren Beatty Project.”
Legends of Oz: Dorothy’s Return opens in theaters today.