'Smash's Megan Hilty and Jaime Cepero Talk Ivy-Derek, Tonight's Firing and Redemption for Ellis
'Smash's Megan Hilty and Jaime Cepero Talk Ivy-Derek, Tonight's Firing and Redemption for Ellis
Jeff Dodge
Jeff Dodge
Staff Writer, BuddyTV
Tonight's episode is appropriately titled "The Workshop" as Marilyn: The Musical takes a huge leap forward with trying to get to Broadway. And as we know, Ivy hasn't been completely stable lately. How does Megan Hilty, who plays Ivy, think about her character, being with Derek and competing with Karen? Hilty talked with TVLine about all this and much more.

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The relationship between Ivy and Derek is getting very heated. Will they make nice with each other? Hilty says, "They come back together certainly, but he is a majorly distracting factor for her and she's already got a lot on her plate. She's got the person who is, like, going after her part constantly in her face, she's dating the director who isn't always so nice to her, and her mother's there trying to steal the spotlight."

Do Ivy and Derek actually have feelings for each other or are they just hooking up for their own personal gains? "Oh, absolutely," she continues. "What they have is very real. It's a very unconventional relationship, because they're very strong personalities, but they both seem to get something out of this -- and it's not necessarily work-related. At first I thought maybe they were using each other, but that doesn't seem to be the case anymore. It's turned into something much bigger than that."

There's that dynamic between Ivy and the director. Then there's also the dynamic between Ivy and Karen. Ivy's been doing what she can do get rid of Karen. Will this downward slide continue or will things change? "They're going to get really bad, and then they're going to get really nice ... and then they're going to get really bad again. The only thing you can count on is that it's going to go up and down. But they do have some really nice moments together; it's just a very complicated relationship." It will be interesting to see this up and down motion and how nice they are to each other, and what causes it all to go from one end to the other.

We already know that someone will be fired from the musical in tonight's episode. We don't know yet who that is, but will that person be gone for good or will s/he be like Ellis, who keeps coming back again and again? "I can tell you, firsthand from doing these workshops in real life, that people come and go all the time. And just because you have a part doesn't mean that you'll have it tomorrow. And people do get rehired if they can't find the right person to replace them." I'm still saying that Ivy's going to get fired (whether it's tonight or later on). But Hilty mentions that in the real world, firings don't always stick. Is that a little hint of how this will play out?

Ellis, Tom's assistant, has been riling up Smash fans everywhere. Some call him slimy, a villain, conniving and a sneaky bastard. I personally love it whenever he's on screen because I can't wait to see what he does next. Jaime Cepero, who plays you-know-who himself, talked to the Huffington Post about his character and what may happen with his character next.

It's going to be a big episode tonight for Ellis. He'll be given a "smackdown," but by whom? Your first thought might be Julia, right? Not so fast. Cepero says, "He's gotten spoken to before, but he's very ambitious and he has some cojones -- he'll talk back -- but I think he's met his match in Eileen Rand, Anjelica Huston's character, and I think you see that tonight." In the last couple of episodes, Ellis has attached himself to Eileen, for some reason. It sounds like maybe he takes things a little too far. And we all know that Eileen won't take BS from anyone ... just ask her soon to be ex-husband who has drinks thrown in his face left and right from her.

It was assumed that Ellis is gay. But we found out recently that he has a girlfriend. What does that mean about him as a person? Cepero continues by saying, "I think it was kind of written for him to be little ambiguous and for people to be guessing. In the Broadway industry, there are a lot of guys that you meet that you might think are gay, but they're not. He's that character - I mean, I've met those people in real life, and I think I can speak for everybody from the Broadway community that's on the show: We all know those people. You'll see more definition as far as his sexuality as the series goes on."

For most of the season, we've seen Ellis as a villain-type character. But will he change? "You're definitely going to see some definition in his character. What's so exciting about this character to me, as an artist, is he's so undefined. You don't really know where he's from or what he wants at the beginning of the series, but as the series goes on, he starts to get more and more definition. You see just how ambitious this kid is, and really how much he wants this power and the finer, lavish things in life. It's really fun to watch him climb the ladder as the series goes on."

What do you think of Ellis? Do you love to hate him, or just plain hate him? And what about Ivy: Do you think she's the one that gets fired? If not, who could it be?

Smash airs Mondays at 10pm on NBC.

(Image courtesy of NBC)

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