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During the episode, appropriately titled “Movie Star,” Thurman’s entitled Duvall arrives to “save” Bombshell, the musical at the center of the NBC Broadway drama by suggesting Tom (Christian Borle) and Julia (Debra Messing) alter the songs and ditch a solo as it appears the actress lacks the vocal chops to pull it off.
“Rebecca Duvall is such a unique character,” Thurman said in a statement about the role. “She brings a new dynamic onto set and causes drama everywhere she turns.”
For Thurman’s five-episode arc, executive producers Marc Shaiman and Scott Wittman penned a song, “Dig Deep,” specifically for the actress (who was pregnant during production), “she had a bit of a shock between movies and television,” Wittman says.
To help, the Tony-winning duo worked extensively with Thurman at their home studio so she could master the song in just two days. “She came back and sang it with the knowledge that she really could,” Shaiman notes. Thurman and the EPs also studied Monroe’s Madison Square Garden performance of “Happy Birthday, Mr. President,” which she’ll perform on Smash.
“Smash is such a huge production, with wonderful original songs and fantastic choreography,” Thurman said. “I hope Smash fans will enjoy watching Rebecca as much as I enjoyed playing her.”
Check out a clip from Monday’s episode and audio of Thurman’s performance of “Dig Deep” below.
How do you think Thurman fits in to the series? Smash airs Mondays at 10 p.m. on NBC.
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