Krysta Rodriguez, she of Smash and First Date, is going where she's never gone before. The young actress is guest-starring on the latest episode of Ian, a new Web series on the Broadway-centric site Stage17.tv. Rodriguez is appearing as you'd least expect her: a sexy Fly Goddess who comes to taunt the show's protagonist, a 25-year-old virginal nerd with a big fantasy life. TheaterMania caught up with Rodriguez to discuss her latest endeavor and the projects she has on the horizon.
So you're playing a fly goddess. How did this project come your way?
[Show creator] Ross Evans and I had done a reading of a play that he has written. He e-mailed me and said we have this new idea, it's this great new Web series for Stage17, which combines Broadway and whatever we want to create. He sent me the script and it made me chuckle. When else do you get the chance to be a fly goddess? It just sounded like fun. I loved working with Ross before and I enjoy working on new platforms of entertainment.
What is the shooting process like for a Web show, compared to a TV series like Smash?
It was fast. It was out in a house in New Jersey, in the dead of winter, during a blizzard. I went out there and we threw it together. Eveything was very organized and ready. We got to design the costume together and got some cool makeup going. We knew there would be special effects, as far as turning me into the goddess. It was fun to watch how that process happens and to be holed up in a warm house and make some comedy.
I have to ask — in a lighthearted way — how this character differs from the ones you usually play...
Hmmm. All of the other roles I've played are human, and this one is an insect. [laughs]
You also performed for The Skivvies on Tuesday, where you did a medley of songs involving dogs, dressed as a dog. How was that?
We had fun with it! I said I'll handle the dog costume, you handle the jail bars,' so we tag-teamed it. They make it really fun; it's not nerve-racking. Lauren Molina and I are friends, but it's never happened before. Now, it's like why has this never happened before?
Do you have any big plans for the summer?
I'm going on a more personal adventure, I would say. I'm going to work with the Performing Arts Project in North Carolina. Jonathan Bernstein, who started it, has a great outlook on arts education, which is what I'm passionate about. It's a high school-aged program in Winston-Salem. They spend three weeks and you can do whatever you want. Literally, whatever you want. It's about collaborating and making art and helping people be better human beings. It's about giving them the tools to be better friends and kids and sons and daughters. There's so much pressure when it becomes a career, and it's just much more pure about communicating in all forms and doing what makes us human.