The last time we chatted with Claudia Lee, she told us she’d love to be able to bring her musical talents to her Hart of Dixie character, Magnolia Breeland, and wouldn’t you know it? Just a few months later, that’s exactly what’s happening. “Tributes & Triangles” will feature Magnolia and Lee belting out their big guns when Wade (Wilson Bethel) writes a tribute number for George (Scott Porter), who has been voted “Man of the Year” by Bluebell. Lee, who is currently shooting another upcoming episode of Hart of Dixie, took some time with us once again to chat about the episode, evolution of her character, and her brand new, studio-length album.
LA TV Insider Examiner: We have to say welcome back to L.A. and to Hart of Dixie; it was awhile without Magnolia, but we’re glad you were back last week and still sticking around the Warner Brothers lot to film more fun episodes.
Claudia Lee: Thank you. Yeah, it’s been really fun. I had to leave in the middle of an episode to go out to Nashville for something called CRS, which is a Country Radio Seminar where everyone in country radio gets together– all the artists and everything– it’s just a week of music, of country music, and it’s a lot of fun!
It seems like it’s a big week for you with your album and another big episode of the show, as well. How does it feel to finally have your Hart of Dixie audience get to see you in your element musically on the show?
C.L.: I thought it was really cool creatively for my character Magnolia because of the fact that people haven’t seen that much of her yet. I thought it was really cool that they allowed her to sing in the show and to see that she’s not just a teenager trying to find herself; she also has her mature side, and she is trying to plan out her future.
Singing might be a great future for Magnolia, especially if she continues to team up with Wade. Do you actually get to duet in this episode?
C.L.: I don’t know; you’ll have to tune in and see what happens!
Wilson has definitely put his musical stamp on Hart of Dixie, as well as with the cast in his “after hours” music video. Are you guys collaborating on anything personally?
C.L.: Not just yet. I really am supportive of his music; I think it is so cool that he put out that music video, and I’ve loved the songs that have been on the show with him singing. I think he has a really awesome voice, and I’m just really excited for his future with music, as well. I’m sure in the near future we’ll be collaborating on something musically– not just on the TV show.
Tell us a little bit about your album. Is there a particular song or single that you would recommend fans download first to get the tone of the whole thing?
C.L.: Well, I’m hoping that everyone downloads each song and loves the whole album, but the title of the album is “Here Right Now,” and that is the song on the album that I wrote myself. And when I say myself, I mean, my computer, my headphones, me…Writing that song, I kind of wanted to express my journey in Hollywood and express the feelings of how I was trying to find myself as an artist and also own who I was and know that there was always going to be a guardian angel out there looking over you because I was up for so many contracts; I had so many opportunities; and some of those things didn’t work out, and I look back at the past, and I think ‘Oh wow, if I would have gotten that role’ or ‘If that would have happened, then I wouldn’t be able to do what I’m doing today.’ So I think it’s a really great song that talks about being blessed in life and also talks about finding yourself.
Is a lot of the album dedicated to that kind of internal struggle of growing up and developing abilities, whether they’re artistic or otherwise?
C.L.: Each song on the album brings its own sort of story and its own sort of message. It’s going to be interesting to see how each person reacts to each song differently. I think that’s something that’s going to be unique and cool about my album: each song can affect someone in such a different way. There’s also another song on the album, which I wrote myself…which is about one of my friends and something she went through where her whole family dynamic changed drastically. I had to see my best friend grow up and be strong for her younger siblings when something so terrible was happening in her life, and I just wanted to put myself in her shoes and know how she was feeling and just dedicate that song to her.
Are you doing and L.A. shows to promote the album?
C.L.: I am so excited to perform; I am so ready to perform; I love live performances! I think it’s something so different from a track; live is just so unique and cool because the energy is just so different. I cannot wait to have live performances. They’ll be in the near future– very soon.
Is there any place in particular you’d love to play?
C.L.: I think it would be really cool to start off at, like, the House of Blues or something like that, but I would love to perform at the Hollywood Bowl or the Greek.
But you’ll be busy filming some more of Hart of Dixie, and last we saw, Magnolia opened up to her big sister about wanting to stand up as Maid of Honor at the wedding and not only be there for Lemon but also kind of have her moment in the spotlight, too. So going forward with the preparations, how involved is Magnolia?
C.L.: I think Magnolia is very protective of her sister…I think she really wanted to go with George and Lemon when they wanted to elope in order to have them realize a real wedding was what they wanted. I think she really is going to get more involved in the planning and being there for her sister! It’s not only an exciting event for Lemon and George, but it’s exciting for Magnolia and all of Bluebell.
If you could pitch the Hart of Dixie writers the perfect storyline for Magnolia, what would you want to get a chance to do on the show, now that you’ve gotten your wish of working music in?
C.L.: I think something really cool would be seeing a vulnerable side to Magnolia. I think that’d be something really unique and cool, and the fans would get to see more of her sensitive side instead of her strong-willed side.
So maybe something where Lemon confides truth about their mother to Magnolia?
C.L.: Yeah, or maybe something where Magnolia does something really absurd, but not in her usual way…I don’t know, it’s such a tough question! I love what they’re writing for my character already because they give me such a great emotional reach.
Hart of Dixie airs on The CW on Monday nights at 9pm. “Tributes & Triangles” airs on February 27th 2012. “Here Right Now” drops on February 28th 2012.
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