Katharine McPhee nearly won the fifth season of American Idol and has proved she is not just a runner-up, with huge record sales over the years. McPhee had lunch Nunn on One to get in the holiday spirit at Macy's in the Walnut room.
Windy City Times: Hi, Katharine. How did you audition for American Idol?
Katharine McPhee: Oh, that was long time agofive years now. I was working as an actress in L.A. My friend suggested it and I went down to San Francisco and auditioned.
WCT: The rest is history now. You are still doing a lot of acting, correct?
Katharine McPhee: I am.
WCT: You have a Jane Fonda movie coming out, right?
Katharine McPhee: I have a cameo in that one and it's called "Peace, Love, and Misunderstanding." How did you know about that?
WCT: I have my sources…
Katharine McPhee: You are a good investigator. I just wrapped a movie called Shark Night: 3-D. I filmed it in Louisiana and got home to L.A. a week ago yesterday.
WCT: So it's in 3-D!
Katharine McPhee: Yes, I know. It will be interesting to see myself in 3-D. I haven't even seen a movie in 3-D; that's how anti 3-D I have been.
WCT: Oh, you didn't see Avatar?
Katharine McPhee: I didn't see it. I was like, "What's this stupid 3-D crap?"
WCT: [Laughs] And now you are in one!
Katharine McPhee: Yes, now I am in one.
WCT: I wanted to tell you that I wrote a travel story down in Shreveport, La.
Katharine McPhee: You did?
WCT: Yes, I went during a festival.
Katharine McPhee: There are some good restaurants down there. It was a good place to shoot, to be honest.
WCT: It's a homey little town.
Katharine McPhee: It has character.
WCT: How do you celebrate the holidays?
Katharine McPhee: Gosh, this year is particularly different because I don't think I have ever been working this much during the holiday season. I usually spend it with family. I never have had extravagant trips or anything like that.
WCT: Where does your family live?
Katharine McPhee: My parents live in Los Angeles; that's where I was born. My sister lives in New York. We are usually split up. My in-laws are in San Francisco, so I am usually up there.
WCT: Why did you decide to do a Christmas album?
Katharine McPhee: My label asked me to do one so that's what inspired me. It was requested from them and I gladly accepted to do it. I started working on it in June of this summer.
WCT: That's quick.
Katharine McPhee: Yes, exactly.
WCT: Did you get to choose what songs to include?
Katharine McPhee: Yeah, I picked all the songs. I started off with a list like you have there with my chicken scratch. I was listening to Christmas records to listen to the different songs. There are so many songs that I tried out, process of elimination. That was how I chose them from a list on a piece of paper.
WCT: You have a track, "What Are You Doing New Year's Eve," on the album. I really like that song.
Katharine McPhee: Thank you. For New Year's Eve I am usually pretty lame, unless I get specifically invited to an event or party. Maybe we will go out to dinner but I would love to be in Vegas or something. I am always looking for an excuse to be at a big party.
WCT: Totally. So no more blonde hairare you keeping the brown?
Katharine McPhee: Yeah, it's a lot easier, although I have a few tricks up my sleeve as far as hair colorwell, not tricks, but I have ideas. I am always wanting to change my hair; it's fun. I grew up with my mom and sister in the house and they were always about keeping your long brown hair but it gets kind of boring after a while. You have to change it up. I definitely want it to grow, it's taking forever!
WCT: What are your plans for next year?
Katharine McPhee: I am supposed to do an ABC family movie that was supposed to shoot until Christmas but thankfully that got pushed back to spring. So that will give me a little more time through the holidays. I will probably start the writing process for the next record and hopefully more acting projects.
WCT: Great, have a wonderful holiday!!!
Christmas Is The Time To Say I Love You is currently out now. Visit www.Katharinemcphee.com to purchase the CD.