Comic-Con feels many months in the rearview, but it was actually only three weeks ago that I found myself standing next to Katharine McPhee and a giant mechanical shark in a parking lot across the street from PETCO Park in San Diego.
 
The shark was there as a proxy for the largely CG star of the thriller "Shark Night 3D," which hits theaters on September 2 and features a plot that requires almost no explanation beyond what's implied by the title: A group of college friends head off for a wild weekend of partying at a lake house, but find themselves falling prey to a giant shark. In 3D. I believe the correct dramatic conflict archetype would be "Scantily Clad Man vs. Nature."
 
McPhee was there as one of the human stars of "Shark Night 3D," though she wouldn't tell me if she's one of the nubile coeds who becomes shark kibble, or if she leaves that honor for her chums. 
 
If "Shark Night" is successful, it will be part of a wave of career re-definition for "American Idol" Season 5 runner-up McPhee, possibly whetting appetites for the February 2012 premiere of the NBC musical-drama "Smash," which finds the "House Bunny" co-star in such uncharted waters that the network has been billing her as "And Introducing Katharine McPhee."
 
McPhee and I discussed that NBC billing, her own thriller preferences and the difficulties of cinematic screaming in this video interview. 
 
Check it out!