February 15, 2012 at 12:00 pm , by Sonia Harmon
Latest role. In Smash I play a girl from Iowa who dreams of being on Broadway. It’s the perfect part: Growing up, my mother always took me to see musical theater; plus, the series is produced by Steven Spielberg. Anything he’s involved with grabsmy attention.
Moving from Los Angeles to New York City, where the NBC show is filmed. My New York apartment is so much smaller. I was like, Where do I put all my shoes? So I bought all these bins, filled them with shoes and shoved them under my bed.
My dream collaboration. I would love to work with Adele. Of course, I only say that in my dreams because I don’t believe it will ever happen!
How I give back. I started McPhee Outreach, which helps children in need. We built a preschool in a small country in West Africa called Burkina Faso. I wasn’t able to be at the opening ceremony, but I watched a video of the people there talking about what the chool meant to them. I was like, Wow, I helped make this happen.
Best advice I ever got. Keep one or two voices in your life, meaning one or two people you can trust. And don’t stray too far from those voices because this business is stressful!
Guilty pleasure. Keeping Up With the Kardashians. Khloe is my favorite—she’ll say exactly what she thinks, then follows it up with, “I’m only telling you things other people say behind your back.” Love that about her!
Before this current hairstyle, McPhee’s hair was cropped and platinum blond. “I get tired of the same old thing.” Check out this slideshow of McPhee’s best hairstyles.
December 3, 2010 at 10:00 am , by Lisa M. Gerry
What makes the perfect holiday album? I look for amazing vocals, songs you can sing along to, and enough beat to get you boogying while you’re decorating the tree. Lending her powerful pipes to classic carols, American Idol alum Katharine McPhee delivers that and more on her album, “Christmas Is The Time (To Say I Love You).” To get in the spirit, we asked McPhee to share some of her Christmas memories and must-haves.
Best Present Ever…
One Christmas, my parents surprised my sister and me with a trip to Hawaii. As we were looking at the gifts Santa brought us, they opened the front door and there was a stretch limo waiting to take us to the airport. We freaked out!
One of my favorite holiday traditions is the day after Thanksgiving, we blast Christmas music and decorate the house from head to toe. I think it’s a girl thing because I have to beg my husband to do it each year. Conveniently, football always seems to be on at the same time [laughs].
I like to eat everything at Christmas. But, my dad makes the best Christmas-colored green beans. He uses sour cream, fried onions and tomatoes. They’re so good.
Favorite Song on the Album…
“It’s Not Christmas Without You“. I wrote it, and I think it’s a great holiday love song. It reminds me of one of my favorite songs, “Miss You Most (At Christmas Time),” from Mariah Carey’s Christmas record.
July 9, 2010 at 1:43 pm , by Lisa M. Gerry
American Idol alum, Katharine McPhee, has teamed up ConAgra Foods Foundation and Feeding America for an amazing project called, Hunger-Free Summer. 19.5 million American children are on free or reduced meals during the school year, and when school lets out, only 2.2 million of them are getting that free food over the summer. That leaves 17 million kids who go hungry during the summer because they’re no longer getting government-funded meals. “We’re working with 23 food banks and trying to bridge that gap,” says McPhee. “Our goal is to feed 25 percent more kids this summer than last.”
I spoke with Katharine about what drew her to this cause, how she’s helping, what we can do to eradicate hunger in America—and I couldn’t let her go without finding out what other projects she has up her sleeve.
Were you surprised by the hunger crisis in America?
When I heard that 1 in 4 kids don’t know where their next meal is coming from, I was shocked. A friend of mine is a schoolteacher in Minnesota and she said she had a student who was sneaking sandwiches because they were starving. And when kids are hungry, they can’t focus in school and they sometimes cause problems in the classroom. I just didn’t think about hunger existing in this country—especially not in LA where I grew up.
You’ll be visiting food banks in at least six cities. What will you being doing there?
My main duty is to talk to food bank representatives and see how we can make the program better every summer. Many of the kids’ parents will be working, so they’ll be dropped off at supervised areas close to the food bank. And they spend their days there because they get lunch and dinner. So I’m there just to remind them that they’re kids, play with them and maybe sing a couple songs with them.
What can our readers do to help?
You can go to my website, katharinemcphee.com, and there are links to the programs that I’m working on. There are so many ways you can make a difference. In these economic times, it’s really hard to ask people for money. I get that, but this issue is not just about money. It’s about giving time.
Find out what Katharine is up to next…