BWW Exclusive: On the Set of SMASH- Josh Bergasse on Winning His Emmy, Choreographing for Two Musicals in Season Two & More; Plus New Photos!
When you look back on Season one, do you have a favorite memory and then a "What was I thinking" memory?
You know, it's funny I do have a favorite memory--I would say "Let's Be Bad" is my favorite. It just clicked choreographically, it clicked lighting-wise, the camera work and the editing and Megan was just born to do that. So it was fantastic--that's probably my favorite memory. As far as my "why did I do that" memories, I have a bunch of those. I actually went back and watched some of the stuff from last season and was like, "Oh no..."
It was all spectacular last year what did you see that we didn't see?
You know how when you look back on your work, especially after coming to the second season and doing more work and feeling like you're growing as an artist, you go back and think...I do, I always do.
I assume--everyone talks about Bollywood...
For me that's one of--I'm very proud of the Bollywood number, I thought it was great. I understand that it was very polarizing from the story point but also I am proud of the fact that it made EW's top ten moments of television in 2012. So I'm very proud of that. In the same issue that someone was complaining about the Bollywood number. I really loved it. I'm not totally responsible for the transitions in and out of the numbers.
I loved it, I thought it was fine to have it in a restaurant, it was cool to see...
I think that's what great about this show, I think if you box us in, you're always going to be critical. Because we're not a Broadway show, and we're not a straight television series. We're our own thing and we're gonna make our own rules about how we get into these numbers. We get into fantasies all the time, and sometimes they're bumpy and sometimes you get it. I think the great thing about the show is that you do get these big numbers. I think that's why people find it interesting.
With the next season now, what's changing, how does that affect you as choreographer? If you're told that you can't do a Time Square, does that...?
You know, it all comes from the scripts. So they figure that out, they go in the writers' room and they figure that out. And the the script comes out and I do my thing to whatever they've written. So it doesn't affect me too much, I still get to do what I do.
...see a lot of those in the rehearsal room and then all of a sudden it's materializing as you're rehearsing into a full-fledged number...
You know what, we don't have that happening quite that much--we have a lot of rehearsals, you get to see a lot of rehearsals of HitList, you get to see the process through real basic rehearsals and then there are some fantasies. But then they perform at the festival and they go off-Broadway, so you see different stages of the musical. And then with Bombshell, we've gotten some different ways of going into fantasy, kind of almost like double fantasy where you're seeing a rehearsal but then you're seeing a fantasy within that rehearsal, but not necessarily the number staged in the rehearsal. Because [unintelligible] 9:50 was so successful last year--we can't repeat that, we can't do that. So we have to find new ways of using our numbers for different kinds of story telling.
Is the feeling different this year? Because we've seen three episodes--we've seen one, two and four and the whole tone of the show--I love the tone, it's so different. How do you describe the tone of Season two, as opposed to Season one, from your standpoint?
I think it's a younger tone, a little sexier, I think that's what they were going for. I think choreographically, it's more broad. And I think that with the new characters involved you're also seeing a Broadway show start from the beginning and then go through its growing pains again. Like you did with Bombshell, but Bombshell now, the journey, it's already written, it's "How do you get it from out of town to Broadway?" I think the audience is still interested in finding out out how does a Broadway show really spark and then grow from just that idea. So we get to see that again with HitList and I think that's great. And I think the tone is a little more broad and hopeful that's gonna get a bigger audience.
Is there a particular actor that for whatever reason you have fun choreographing for, you like to test their limits or someone that you really like?
I have to say these guys work so hard, the principals on our show work so hard, especially Megan and Kat and Jeremy, I can't imagine how they do it. They're in the chair at the crack of dawn, they're in the recording studio, they're shooting twelve hours a day and then somebody tells them they have to go to dance rehearsal. But the amazing thing is that when they get into rehearsal we have so much fun. You see how tired but you see them just brighten up, and we're just jumping around in a studio together. I think it's a real release for them--they're not standing around in front of the camera, they're not memorizing lines or in the makeup chair--they're with a bunch of other people their age, and we're just having a great time. So I love to see that, I love to see people come into my studio and their attitude change.
Photo Credit: Will Hart/NBC