INT: Jessica Simpson
-- this set visit took place in January 2005 --
The most surprising thing about Jessica Simpson (other than how unbelievably hot she is), is how much shorter she is in real life. I wasnt exactly expecting a giant but theres definitely a skewed perspective when you see her on TV. In any case, she was very cool, open, articulate and upbeat. Did I mention how hot she is? Because she is. Like really really hot.
Are you doing a duet with Willie Nelson or is that a rumor?
That started out as a rumor and something that I wanted to do and I didn't know that he wanted to do it. But he asked me on set the other day to sing with him so we're trying to find the best song to do.
Do you have any ideas for what it might be?
No, I have no clue. I have no clue what it'll be. I might be singing with him this weekend.
You guys wouldn't do the theme song?
No. He did that by himself. You don't want me on the theme song.
So did you find jumping into acting in your very first movie, a difficult thing to do?
You know, I thought it was gonna be a lot harder but I think just my atmosphere, the cast, Johnny and Seann, and the director Jay and everybody has really made me feel very very comfortable. And they're crazy anyway so it's ok if I mess up. It's kinda cool for your first movie to go in completely open to just fall on your face. That's just the personality that they have and what makes them so good at what they do.
We were told you really wanted this part. Why did you want the Daisy Duke part?
It was important for me to not go so far away from my persona and what people already knew me as. And eventually I'll go there in acting but for my first role I just didn't want it to be too far-fetched. I just thought that it was an amazing character. I wasn't alive when Dukes of Hazzard was around. I know, it's sad. But I did see all the re-runs and I'm from the south and the accent kinda came natural. It was that All-American girl thing that I wanted to keep giving people.
Did your experience on your TV show with cameras around you all the time make it a lot easier to transition into acting?
I don't even notice the camera anymore so I think that's one of the positive things about having a crew around all the time. You know, they'll be in your face and you won't even notice they're there which is kinda scary but is good as an actress.
How did you prep as an actress, like getting ready to start learning lines and that kinda stuff, what kinda things did you do before you went into the movie?
I shoot on Thursday [it was Tuesday] and I don't even know what my lines are. So I'm better at just going in and sitting in my hair and make-up trailer and while I'm getting my hair and make-up done, just memorizing my lines right there. That way I don't rehearse them too much and it doesn't sound like I'm acting and it's more just how I would say it instead of saying 'ok, I gotta put the emphasis here'. Then it gets all confusing and that's when I think it starts to sound really contrived.
We've seen your jeep. Do you have any desire to be behind the wheel of the General Lee?
Well, Daisy never really was. She pretty much stayed in her jeep and I think Bo doesn't really let many people drive The General Lee. But I did go to driving school. I guess I just did it for fun because I really don't do any car tricks or stunts or anything in the movie. But they wanted me to feel comfortable driving so I went and learned how to do reverse 180s in cop cars and all kinds of stuff. They said I caught on really quick.
So you had to drive a cop car?
Yeah, it was a cop car.
Are you and Enis gonna hook up in this movie?
I definitely tease on Enis a little bit. It's kinda how I get out of a lot of situations. [How I get] my cousins out of a lot of situations.
Isn't that kinda cruel?
Is it cruel? No, because she [Daisy] really does love him and have a place in her heart for him.
But she doesn't LOVE him love him?
I don't know. You never know. Maybe in the sequel. When it was first written, they had Enis and Daisy kissing but I haven't read that in the new script.
So that's not coming up in the next couple of weeks?
I already had my big scenes with Enis. Most of them are in bikinis. Thank God those are over.
You really got yourself into shape for this role. Can you talk about what you did to prepare for the bikinis and the Daisy Dukes?
Well, immediately when I found out that I had the part, I was like, ok, this is...it's the best to be able to have something to work towards or else I'll stick to fried food and Taco Bell. But to have a goal is awesome so I ate my last piece of chocolate cake when I found out. Ever since I've tried to cut sugar out of my diet except fruit. But pretty much I just eat healthy and work out close to two hours every day.
Are you gonna stick with that after the movie?
Yeah, I'm addicted to it now. Now, I actually feel better. I have so much more energy. Work is so much easier. But I'm also not traveling every day of my life which I'm so used to. And that's one of the main differences in doing a movie.
Do you have a choice as far as what jeans you're gonna be wearing?
Yeah, I'm a girl so I tried on so many jeans. You can't even imagine how many jeans I tried on for this movie. Most of them were jeans that we just cut off and made as short as we wanted to, which is more than probably I would wear' em.
What brand is the lucky winner?
Lucky. And then Levi's is in one [scene] but the main Daisy Duke's are Lucky and then her jeans are Trabolgan.
Have you thought about doing your own line of Daisy Duke style jeans?
Yes. I just signed a big merchandising deal and my mom and I are doing it together so we're gonna have a line of jeans called britches.
Are you gonna write a book on cosmetics or clothing or something like that? Is that in the plan?
There's not a book in plan. I have a perfume line out called Dessert. And then cosmetics will come and all kinds of things will come. But, yeah, I'm hoping to do a line of Daisy Britches.
I heard that you had some fun shopping while you were here and you ended up with a lot of luggage to bring back to LA.
Yeah, you know, it's so weird for me because I like to be comfortable but I also like to put together outfits. So you never know what you're gonna feel like that day. And the sad thing that my closet at home in LA is completely full. You would not know that I have so much luggage out here but I do and we're gonna end up having to ship things home. And it's funny what you think is cute when you go to a small town because, you know, I'm used to shopping in major designer [stores] and now it's like, we're so excited to go to a Target and the new hooded sweatshirt.
What's a typical reaction when a young girl meets you? Do they say they wanna be like you?
Yeah, especially if they come up with their mother, their mother always thanks me for just staying positive and putting good energy out there and being a good role model. That's probably the biggest comment I get. And it makes me wanna continue choosing things that are inspirational for other people.
What do you think, as a result of the TV show and the media, what do you think is the number one misconception about you?
I'm definitely ditzy, I mean, people think that about me and that's ok with me. But I'm not the Anna Nicole Smith type. I definitely have my stuff together. I'm a very determined person who works really really hard and a lot of that gets lost in the chicken and tuna comments. But that's ok because it's done really well for me.
I've heard that Cooter is your first onscreen kiss.
Cooter is my first onscreen kiss.
How was that?
That was great. I really just kissed him on the cheek. He might have tried to slip every now and then. And that was my first day on set.
I heard he was covered in grease too.
He was covered in grease. My make-up artist had to wipe it off every time. It was just a peck saying thank you.
Has Nick been able to get down here to see you?
Nick's here now.
Yeah, he's in the studio, actually, in Baton Rouge. He just signed with Jive records. He's flying writers down here and just figuring out what he's gonna do next. Finally, he's here. He hasn't seen me do anything on set yet because I've been here for like a week not doing anything, which is nice.
Is the movie gonna in any way gonna involve the show [The Newlyweds]? Is the show gonna cover your time in the film?
They haven't really come [on set]. They haven't really had clearance. Cause you never know what MTV's gonna put together. They could shoot a whole day and make a whole different movie. They've come and sat in my trailer with me and they went and did the whole car stuff with me and fight training and stuff like that so you'll definitely see a lot of behind the scenes stuff.
Do you do some fighting in the movie?
I do. I have to kick some ass with a pool cue. Thank God it's break-away but it might as well have not been. I felt so bad because I don't think that people or the director Jay thought that I had it in me and I ended up leaving welts on this guy's back. So I felt kinda bad but Daisy kicks ass.
Were you in heels when you were doing the fight scenes?
Oh yeah. It's a good calf work-out.
Have you had a chance to talk with Burt Reynolds?
Of course. One of my first days on set with Burt, he was so sweet, he went out to an antique store and he bought me a ring that was a daisy and two sapphires and just made me feel really comfortable. I had like a kinda of a scene with him already. I've had a couple with Willie Nelson and he's unbelievable. Both of them are great.
What's the best part about Daisy's character?
That she gets everybody out of trouble. I think that's what so fun about it is that people kinda lean on Daisy to make things happen and to use whether it's her sexuality or personality. It's really fun because you never really looked at Daisy Duke, I mean, if you look at the clothes she was wearing especially for back then, it was so skimpy and nowadays you would be like 'oh gosh, I can't believe she wears that down the street'. Somehow Daisy Duke can pull it off because she always has a smile while she does it. It's not ever anything that's too seductive.
So you're testing the waters with acting with a part that you feel is close to you. Where would you like to see things go if this is a hit? Where do you wanna go as an actress?
I wanna do the romantic comedies and you know, the stuff that Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts would choose, of course. Reese Witherspoon. But I also love the movies that move you and make you cry so whether it's a drama or...I'm up for anything. I don't know if I'd really be good at being some coked out drug addict cause I've never tried it. That's kinda hard to identify with. But maybe one day, you never know.
With the merchandising, is there gonna be a Daisy doll?
I don't know. I don't know what all Warner Bros' has planned but I know we're doing some stuff with them for sure.
Has your sister come down at all?
My sister hasn't come down. She is, actually, in rehearsals right now for tour. I'm so happy for her. She's got like a sold out tour all across the States. She's just getting ready for that. She's in voice lessons three hours a day. She's doing her work-out stuff just getting ready for tour. She might come out here with my mom next week.
Bill Gerber said that he might be producing a movie with you?
Yes. Bill Gerber is amazing and he's been such a great connection. He was, actually, the first person I ever met with on DUKES OF HAZZARD and it was so long ago. It was like two years ago or something and he's put so much heart behind this project and he's just one of the coolest producers I've ever been around and I wanted to do my next thing with him just cause he had this really great project that's very PRIVATE BENJAMIN Goldie Hawn type of thing. It should be really good.
Is that who you look up to as an actress?
Goldie Hawn is definitely one of my favorites. Like I said, Julia Roberts or even Kate Hudson. I thought her performance in ALMOST FAMOUS was awesome. How she can do a romantic comedy and then do something like ALMOST FAMOUS. That's kinda the direction I'd like to go.
It was mentioned that Catherine Bach may be in the film herself.
I've heard some rumors. You know what's so weird is that my mother, she [Catherine Bach] had a house for sale and my mom had no clue who it was and this was before I got the part and my mom ended up going and looking at her house and she told my mom that she has heard a rumor that they want me for DUKES OF HAZZARD and she hopes I get it. But, you know, I don't know. I hope so. I've heard a little bit of a rumor about it but you never know.
Does this mean you won't be touring?
No, I'm actually gonna be touring probably this summer. Literally, we have like two more weeks left of shooting and then I'm going into the studio with Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis and I'm working on a new record. And then I'm also doing some stuff on the soundtrack for DUKES. And I'll be going out on tour, I think, this summer. I'll probably be doing some fairs. And it'll be kind of a cross promotion. It's never really been done before with the movie. So I'll have songs where I come out as Daisy Duke. Why not, you know.
You must be getting used to the wardrobe by now.
Yeah, I'm so used to it.
Are you gonna get a free jeep? Like Daisy's jeep?
I'd rather have a free General Lee. There's lots of those.
Nick's been acting this year. You've been acting this year. Do you guys think that you'll act in something together or do you prefer to keep yourselves together on camera as yourselves?
Yeah, after this season of Newlyweds, you probably won't be seeing Nick and I do much other than maybe four more Variety show. We were thinking about going overseas to the troops. And bringing wives or husbands with us to meet up with their husbands and wives that are in the military for the next variet show. After Newlyweds, no more gag everybody with a spoon. We'll separate everything except our love and our marriage.
What do you think is it that makes the reality series good because it's obviously continuous?
Because we're just like every other couple. As a celebrity and living as a celebrity that was put up on a pedestal and really wasn't down with everybody else. That was difficult for me. And when we did the reality show, everybody related. And for the first time, I was the celebrity that I really have always wanted to be and that's just the girl next door who you could sit and have a pizza with and talk about stupid stuff.
How's it been in Louisiana? Had you spent much time here before?
I love Louisiana. I hadn't spent a lot of time here, I mean, I'm from the south and I'd been to New Orleans a lot. But I've really enjoyed the people.
Any big surprises here?
Any big surprises? I don't know. How much fun you can have doing nothing. It's really great. I love it. We've had so much fun just going and playing pool and doing karaoke and going bowling and stuff that I probably wouldn't do in Los Angeles so it's really brought me back to my southern roots which is nice.
Do you feel the reality series has overshadowed the music cause that's what you came up as first?
You know, I think it's all kinda worked together, personally, but, you know, I sold three million records this year and that's good for nowadays and I'm happy with that. I don't need to sell anymore than that. And, you know, I hope to sell that many on my next album. At first when my stuff came out, I released a single that I didn't wanna release but my record label wanted to release. I didn't even wanna put it on my album but they really wanted me to do it. It ended up not hitting and everybody thought it was gonna hit because of the Newlyweds. And I had to go on a mall tour and promote "With You" so all the radio stations would go out there so "With You" went from like number nothing...the label was gonna drop my album because they thought that they didn't have to do a lot of promotion because the reality show would do it all. And we learned that it really didn't.
Specifically for the music, are you looking at like a country rock style? Maybe a remake or are you gonna do something fresh and new?
A remake of...Willie asked me to sing this weekend at the wrap party "White Lightning" so...
So he is gonna do the wrap party?
I don't know. That's just what I hear.
How bout working with Seann and Johnny? How comfortable have they made you feel?
Seann and Johnny are great. I had to give them a thank you note after my first day on set because I was so nervous and I freaked myself out a little bit. They just were funny the whole time and just crazy and great guys. So encouraging and would tell me how great I was after every take even when I blew really hard. They really were very encouraging and that's really what has gotten me through this movie and through my first experience and coming out with confidence.
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