Gutsy character all Rand
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.