Jeremy Jordan, fresh off his Tony-nominated turn as the rebellious paper boy Jack Kelly in Broadway's Newsies, turns up the angst and anger for the second season of NBC's "Smash," where he takes on the new role of bad-boy songwriter Jimmy Collins.
"Yeah, he's very angry," Jordan told Playbill.com on Jan. 16 from the Brooklyn set of TV's musical drama series "Smash," where he filmed Joe Iconis' "The Goodbye Song" — a number from the new musical Hit List, composed by his character, Jimmy Collins — alongside co-stars Katharine McPhee and Krysta Rodriguez. "He's very passionate as well, and he doesn't trust anybody except for maybe his best friend Kyle, played by Andy Mientus, until Karen comes in — Kat McPhee's character — and she starts to open him up a little bit."
Brooklyn-born singer and songwriter Jimmy Collins enters the world of "Smash" when Karen Cartwright (McPhee) finds herself visiting a 46th Street bar (the exterior was shot at New York City's Joe Allen restaurant), where Jimmy and his best friend and writing partner Kyle Bishop (Carrie's Andy Mientus) earn cash and remain afloat while finishing up their book-musical Hit List. Karen, who overhears Jimmy singing material from the musical, is convinced that the piece, in fact, can become a "Hit." (Season Two of "Smash" premieres 9-11 PM Feb. 5.)
"[Jimmy's] had a lot of really, really bad things happen to him in his life; just recently, things have been good..." continued Jordan. "That's when he started writing this musical with Kyle, and so the idea of sharing this very personal [material], which is his music, [is very difficult]."
Karen, however, is persistent about getting his piece produced, and so a new "Smash" star — and love interest for Karen Cartwright — is born.
"It's like there's that sort of unspoken connection between [Karen and Jimmy] from the moment they meet," said Jordan. "There's something that draws them together — that sort of unspeakable energy — [but] each one keeps getting in the other's way… It's like this constant tug and pull, and just when you think something might happen with them, something gets in the way. Life, circumstance and themselves are not making it very easy for them to be romantic with each other in a consistent manner."