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While the personal lives of the couples around them have crumbled, Smash‘s Karen (Katharine McPhee) and her loyal boyfriend Dev (Raza Jaffrey) had — until recently — managed to avoid such drama.
All that changed last week when Dev stood Karen up at a Bombshell cast screening arranged by Rebecca Duvall (Uma Thurman) and opted instead to drown his sorrows with sexy reporter RJ (Tala Ashe).
With only four episodes remaining in NBC’s Broadway drama, Jaffrey warns that there are more truths to be told for the couple in the coming weeks. “Things are very quickly turned on their head in these next episodes before they finally become quite enormous,” the British actor tells The Hollywood Reporter.
After Karen learned the hard way that Dev was passed over for a gig as press secretary, the budding Broadway star realizes that her partner with political dreams has been pulling away from her now that their career trajectory is headed in different directions.
“Dev has really wanted his girlfriend to be a successful actress and he’s so proud of what she does, but sometimes you have to be careful what you wish for because there’s a lot of other stuff that comes with that,” Jaffrey says.
Part of that rising star will see Karen this week develop a case of hero worship with Duvall, whose arrival to play Marilyn Monroe has — at least for now — tempered the battle for the role with her frenemy, Ivy (Megan Hilty).
“Dev is a politician and politicians don’t necessarily share the same hero worship of movie stars that actors have,” he says. “That can be a dangerous thing for your relationship. Some of Karen’s innocence, which may be what Dev found attractive, is starting to be lost in the course of being this successful star.”
Despite the on-screen couple’s growing distance, Jaffrey says he hopes audiences continue to root for the duo. “Above all else, they really adore each other and how they deal with things that get in their way makes them more real as a couple,” he says. “I hope people will find their relationship as promising as it has been all the way through — despite what’s ahead in the coming weeks.”
EXCLUSIVE PHOTOS: ‘Smash’: Uma Thurman Steps in as Marilyn Monroe
As for what’s to come, Jaffrey says Duvall’s movie star status with Bombshell will continue to impact both Karen and Ivy. “What happens in the course of the next four episodes is that some of the things that the audience had hoped for very early on come to fruition but whether they have a happy ending because of it is another question all together,” he teases.
Jaffrey says RJ could play a role in Karen and Dev’s future, but warned to expect the unexpected. “RJ might be a part of things to come but it doesn’t necessarily lead to what people might expect it to lead to,” he says. “People think that relationship will change in one way and they might be surprised to see it doesn’t.”
In the more immediate future, Jaffrey called Monday’s Bollywood fantasy sequence “A Thousand and One Nights” a “seminal moment” for Smash.
“It reflects the journey with the characters all coming together in a celebratory kind of way with Karen and Dev leading the way,” he says of the company piece, which afforded the former London star of Mamma Mia! an unexpected opportunity to sing and dance.
Do you think there’s hope for Karen and Dev? Hit the comments with your thoughts. Smash airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC. Check out Jaffrey and the Smash gang’s rendition of “A Thousand and One Nights,” below.
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