Katharine McPhee is, in many regards, the very person she portrays on NBC’s Smash. On the series, the 28-year-old ingénue plays Karen Cartwright, a rising star who scores a leading role in a Broadway musical and is immediately hurled into the limelight; in real life, McPhee’s runner-up place on American Idol led to the same rapid rise to fame.
But McPhee is focused on much more than just harmonizing with her on-screen character -- the Los Angeles-born singer-songwriter has taken on a number of inspiring personal projects, from helping the East Coast recover from Hurricane Sandy to revamping her website. “I love sites where everything is right there for the taking,” she tells us of her inspiration to do the overhaul. She wanted to create a place where, “On any given day, you can get information [on] something that is a bit whimsical, but doesn’t take itself too seriously.”
We were fortunate enough to catch up with the busy brunette to chat about her style inspirations, beauty must-haves and altruistic initiatives. Click through for the complete rundown: