Gutsy char­ac­ter all Rand

Herald Sun - Switched On - - Cover Story - PETER MITCHELL

IN the mu­si­cal TV se­ries Smash, An­jel­ica Hus­ton plays fire­brand Broad­way pro­ducer Eileen Rand, a role that al­lows her to draw on ex­pe­ri­ence from a stel­lar ca­reer.

Hus­ton, the daugh­ter of the great Hol­ly­wood film­maker John Hus­ton, won an Os­car in 1986 for her per­for­mance in Prizzi’s Honor and has also di­rected and pro­duced.

The 61-year-old is about one thing.

‘‘ I think it’s a lot more fun and eas­ier to play a pro­ducer than it is to be a pro­ducer,’’ Hus­ton says with a laugh.

‘‘ I’m hav­ing a great time with my char­ac­ter. It’s an op­por­tu­nity to play a strong woman who has — if you’ll for­give the word — balls.

‘‘ She’s a go-get­ter. She’s in a male-ori­ented so­ci­ety. She’s hav­ing to go to her quite un­pleas­ant ex-hus­band to help fa­cil­i­tate get­ting Bomb­shell on the road to Broad­way.’’

The first sea­son of Smash cen­tred on Rand and a group of ac­tors try­ing to get the fic­tional mu­si­cal Bomb­shell, about Mar­i­lyn Mon­roe, on Broad­way.

The sec­ond sea­son in­cludes an edgier pro­duc­tion Hit List, and guest ap­pear­ances by other Os­car win­ners, Liza Min­nelli and Jen­nifer Hud­son, as well as sit­com star Sean Hayes and Broad­way ac­tor Ber­nadette Peters. The reg­u­lar cast in­cludes Me­gan Hilty, Jeremy Jor­dan, Katharine McPhee and De­bra Mess­ing.

‘‘ It’s a lot of fun be­cause I’m play­ing Eileen Rand on

sure quite a few lev­els,’’ Hus­ton says. ‘‘ I also have her per­sonal life, which is in a bit of a sham­bles since she fell in love with the ne­far­i­ous bar­tender.

‘‘ But for me, it’s a fan­tas­tic op­por­tu­nity to play all th­ese dif­fer­ent lev­els, and the beauty of se­ries tele­vi­sion is that you find dif­fer­ent things ev­ery week. It’s like life.’’

The pro­duc­ers of Smash couldn’t be­lieve their luck when they snared Hus­ton for a key role. They sus­pected she’d snub their ap­proach be­cause of the show’s chal­leng­ing pro­duc­tion sched­ule. The Smash cast trav­els be­tween three sets in New York as well as lo­ca­tions in bars, streets and apart­ments.

‘‘ It’s the reg­i­men of do­ing this episode af­ter episode af­ter episode, some­times in tan­dem,’’ Hus­ton says of ad­just­ing to the show’s sched­ule. ‘‘ So re­lax­ation hasn’t been a part of my life.’’ Smash, SoHo, tonight, 7.30pm

Smash­ing time: An­jel­ica Hus­ton says it is fun play­ing pro­ducer Eileen Rand.

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