Jamie Lynn 101: Jamie Lynn Spears is sweet, polite and the star of Nickelodeon's Zoey 101. And, yes, she wears shoes to the restroom. We watched her like a hawk.
Try imagining her, then, in a cavernous New York City Lower East Side photo studio, packed with her room, her older brother/manager Bryan, her personal publicist, her show's publicist, a hair professional, a makeup artist, a clothing stylist, the stylist's assistant, a Spears family friend, a security guard and someone whose job consisted of, as far as we could tell, sitting in a chair.
For such a small girl, the size of her entourage can mean only one thing--Big Star.
Of course, the term Big Star is relative. Literally, in Jamie Lynn's case. You think having a sib who's prom queen, head cheerleader and the most popular girl in school would be tough? That's tiddlywinks compared to having Britney Spears as your big sis. Even with--or maybe because of--the Britster's antics over the last year, she still garners the kind of attention reserved for The Biggest Star in the World.
Despite JLy's squadron of P.R. girls, somewhat frenetic glamour team and a bodyguard burly enough to single-handedly fend off a small invading army (all for a girl who could be slipped into a shipping box and sent back home to Brentwood, La., without anyone really noticing), hanging out with Jamie Lynn and her family is shockingly ... normal.
"Remember the time when I was little, Mama? You went out, and Bryan had a party? The next day you asked me what we all did, and I told you all about it!" Jamie Lynn explodes into giggles, then locks eyes with her mom and brother while her own brown-ish tresses get blond extensions glued on tight.
Bryan snorts. "Yeah, I remember that." Jamie Lynn may have a future as a Big Star but, clearly, has already had a career as a Big Snitch. "I couldn't do anything," Bryan says later. "Jamie Lynn would always spill the beans. It was nice she always wanted to be around Britney and me, but she'd end up telling my room everything we did!"
It is certainly hard to fathom that there's a Spears family secret any of us are missing out on. The entire world has had a front-row seat to what ended up amounting to quite an, um, interesting last year for Britney--two husbands, a cancelled concert tour, approximately 1,000 bags of Doritos and at least one very unfortunate barefoot trip to a gas station restroom (grody!). But as Jamie Lynn and company banter, the Spears clan comes off as just another close-knit family--nice morn, protective older brother and cool big sis who lets her borrow great clothes anytime JL wants.
Barely 14, Jamie Lynn already has perfected the Spears brand of lovely Southern manners (every woman is called "ma'am," and there is plenty of "please" and "thank you") and charm. JL already has learned that early Britney's teen-friendly "aw, shucks" modesty and gushy appreciation catch a lot more media flies than the now-Mrs. Federline's full-out exhibitionism and flip-fans-the-bird summer 2004 hostility.
Jamie Lynn sits patiently through the endless hair extension process, doesn't fidget in the makeup chair and agrees with almost everything the stylist sends her way ("That is so pretty! I love yellow!"). Fancy lunch? "Just a ham-and-cheese on white bread, please, ma'am." She's told that it can be grilled for her, and you'd think someone just offered her a free pony. "That would be great!"
If she were anyone else, it would be easy to write the "she's pretty talented, about to be a big star and still a girl just like you" story. But Jamie Lynn isn't just any other young celeb-in-the-making. She's friggin' Britney Spears' little sister. And that fact never seems to be far from anyone's mind.
It's a staggering three hours after she arrived for the shoot, and Jamie Lynn is finally sufficiently dressed, coiffed and made up. She's also dead tired and jonesing for some candy, a soda, anything to revive her. Never mind that any normal person's brain would go numb from that much primping (which basically amounts to sitting, sitting and more sitting, while people pull at your head and stare at your eyebrows like world peace depends on every hair staying in place).
On top of it, JL is exhausted from an early morning of tutoring. Jamie Lynn is a perky team player, but one learns that Happy Jamie only comes out after a morning of snoozing in. To her credit, she has no qualms about telling anyone how much she hates, hates, hates getting up early in the morning.
Jamie Lynn shuffles onto the set, settles in and smiles. Kinda. The photographer tries to get her into a groove, but Jamie Lynn ain't budgin'. Her publicist requests a music change (hello, JoJo) and the crew helpfully suggests she dance around to get some movement into the shots. Then a shocking admission: Jamie Lynn bluntly informs everyone that--gasp!--she can't dance. Yep, the girl whose older sister shimmied, slithered and shook her way into the hearts of fans everywhere can't so much as shuffle to the beat. Oops, Jamie Lynn is not gonna do that again.
Trouper that she is, Jamie Lynn does come up with her own variations on smiling and standing, and everyone breathes a collective sigh of relief.
After two more clothing and set changes (the girl can sit still like a champ), the photo shoot comes to an end. But Jamie Lynn still has to film a public service announcement for the great charity Do Something as part of its effort to get kids involved in raising money for tsunami survivors.
For this, Jamie Lynn needs only to read cue cards, something in which she has plenty of experience. But, take after take, Jamie Lynn stumbles over her lines, alternately getting frustrated and cracking herself up at the misses and mistakes. An hour later, she's nailed it and scrapes herself off set.
She had wanted to speak with GL's editor after shooting, but it's obvious she's beyond burned out. Jamie Lynn once again locks eyes with her room and brother. Instinctively, Bryan tucks Jamie Lynn under his arm and sweeps her out the door, Team Spears in tow.
Several weeks later, Jamie Lynn is back home in Brentwood. Even though she just walked off the soccer field, still in uniform, and has just an hour before her next game (yikes!) before having to cheer later on, she takes a breather to tell GL about her blossoming career.
GL Have you been singing and acting since you were ... well, in diapers?
JL Yes, but it's only been the last three years since I wanted to do this as a career. I'm definitely most passionate about acting, though.
GL Have you done lots of school plays?
JL My only part in a school play was as an extra orphan in Annie at age 9. I was never the lead. I was pretty shy.
GL So you're not the class clown?
JL No, I've always been kind of quiet at school. I'm the more outgoing one between me and my sister Britney, but I like to get my school stuff done because I want good grades. Or try at least!
GL You were only 11 when you joined the cast of Nickelodeon's All That. How did that feel?
JL I didn't understand what it was about when they offered me the job. But then it was explained to me, and I freaked out! It was so cool.
GL You filmed Crossroads with Britney at about the same time. Was that the first time you two worked together?
JL Yes, but it was also the first time I'd ever really been on film. It was cool doing it with Britney because she could really help me--although, I didn't get to say anything in the movie! But it was fun being in front of the camera. And it'd be fun to work with my sister again.
GL Do you see yourself as a movie star one day, or will you stick with TV?
JL I'm just focusing on Zoey right now, but I'd like to do movies later.
GL What kind of movies would you do?
JL I've always said I want to do scary movies, but then I read scripts for funny movies, and I think, "Oh, I have to do this!" So you never know!
GL If you like really scary movies, you probably would have liked to have been in Hide and Seek?
JL Yeah! I heard about that script, and I even talked to [my agent] about doing the movie, but I was too old for the part. It was so weird being too old for something at age 11 or 12!
GL How did you end up getting your own Nickelodeon series?
JL The creator of All That wanted to do a show for me, so he came up with Zoey. It was a total blessing.
GL How did you celebrate when you found out you got the show?
JL Oh, my gosh, I was so thrilled! When they told me, I started screaming and called all my friends. I was even more excited than with All That because it was my very own show.
GL Are you like Zoey in any way?
JL Well, we definitely like the same fashion stuff. I guess they wanted to create a character I was comfortable playing, so we are pretty similar.
GL How are you different?
JL I could never try out for the all-boys basketball team like she did! She's probably more assertive than I am. Like, she does a lot of things I'd never think of doing, like going to a boarding school. I just could never be away from home for that long--I'm so close with my family.
GL Now you're a celebrity in your own right. What's the best part about it?
JL I wouldn't say I'm a celebrity, but the best thing is just being able to go to work every day and do something I love. And I get to keep some of the clothes, too!
GL Now that you are on the scene, everyone is comparing you to Britney. That's gotta be hard....
JL It's hard. But Britney is pretty great, so it's the biggest compliment I could get. I never look at it as a bad thing.
GL Are you and Britney alike?
JL We like all the same music, and we love all the same clothes. In fact, we always want to take each others clothes. Like she'll say, "Can I have those jeans? They're so cute!" and I'll say, "No, you can't have those!"--that kind of thing. People are always saying, "Oh, I want to be so different from my sister," but not me. If I turn out just like my sister, that would be pretty great.
GL Any sibling rivalries growing up?
JL Just the normal sister stuff. Like she'd say, "Put the laundry away," and I'd say, "No, you do it!"
GL Britney is a tabloid regular Does the gossip about your sister hurt you?
JL It's always going to hurt your feelings whenever anybody says something bad about someone you love. In fact, you just want to call the magazine and say, "Hey, that's not true!" But you can't do that since it only makes things worse.
GL What have you learned from your sister s trials and tribulations?
JL I've learned to stay close with my family as she has and that it's really hard work in show business. I've also learned to not listen to all of the gossip. I guess people don't really realize that less than half that stuff is really true.
GL How do you feel about your sister's new husband Kevin?
JL I love Kevin.
GL Do you think they're soulmates?
JL Yes, but that's probably stuff I shouldn't talk about.
GL Does Britney give you boy advice?
JL Sometimes, but I'm not really into the whole boy thing yet.
GL You don't have any crushes?
JL No, not really. I have a lot of guy friends, but I don't want a boyfriend or anything. I'm not allowed to go on a date until I'm 16 anyway.
GL Well, if you could go out with guys, what type of guys would they be?
JL Cute ones!
GL Brit is hounded by the paparazzi. How would you handle that?
JL I know it's their job, and that's what they have to do. But it's kind of scary, because they chase us in their cars, and that's just really dangerous.
GL What do you think is the biggest misconception about Britney?
JL People don't realize that she's the sweetest person alive.
GL Being Britney's little sister must have some awesome perks.
JL Yeah, once I went into this store and they knew who I was, so they gave me a ton of free stuff. I just love free stuff!
GL We've heard that you and your brother Bryan like to play pranks on each other. Got any to share?
JL My brother used to always wake up my sister and I by pouring water on our heads. I hated that! But I got revenge--one time, I woke him by putting ice on his back. Now, that was fun!
GL You and your morn really get along.
JL Me and my morn are really close. She goes everywhere with me.
GL What's the best Mother's Day gift you and Britney ever gave your mom?
JL We gave her a Lexus--with a big bow on it. It was so great!
GL to Do you like traveling for work?
JL I like it a lot but, when you're away from home, you're always going to get a little homesick. At the most, I'm away for about three months at a time. The good part is that my friends come out and visit for a week, which is awesome.
GL Isn't coming home a letdown after getting the "star treatment" in L.A.?
JL I never get the star treatment in L.A.! I'm just one of those people that doesn't want to be noticed or anything.
GL Does it ever get on your nerves when kids ask for autographs?
JL No, not at all. They're my fans, and they're the reason I have a show.
GL Do you notice kids wanting to be your friend just because you're on TV?
JL I go to a school where I've known the kids my whole life, so they don't think of me as different from anyone else, which I really like.
GL What is your favorite thing about working on Zoey 101?
JL I love everybody there. We goof off a lot! I do hate getting up in the morning.
GL Do you see yourself singing more since you sound so amazing on "Follow Me," the Zoey 101 theme song?
JL I haven't even thought about that yet. I'm probably going to do a lot of acting first. Maybe I won't even do singing--I don't know.
GL You've been really involved with raising money for the tsunami victims.
JL Oh, yes, we've donated money, and I filmed public service announcements to help raise money for the victims.
GL How do you have time for that when you're so unbelievably busy with your career, school and traveling?
JL I think that, out of everything I do, helping other people is the most important thing you can do. There's always time for that!
Want to help Jamie Lynn (and other kids just like you) aid the kids in Asia who were affected by the tsunami? Log on to dosomething.org to learn about Do Something: Kids Tsunami Relief Fund. The need is still great, and every little bit counts!
13 THINGS YOU NEVER KNEW ABOUT JAMIE LYNN
What she has hanging on her walls at home "Pictures of me and my friends and pictures from Zoey."
Next freak or slob "Neat freak."
Chocolate or vanilla "Vanilla."
Secret hobby "I collect porcelain dolls, I get them each Christmas."
Dream car "I'm thinking I really like Mustangs a lot."
Favorite snack food "Ro*tel cheese dip. It's awesome!"
Favorite celeb she's met "I met Sarah Jessica Parker, and I was like, 'Oh, my gosh! She's so pretty!'"
For fun ... "I ride four-wheelers go to basketball games, cheerlead. Oh, and shop!"
Biggest splurge "I like Abercrombie and Juicy. But I love Louis Vuitton purses--I have. like, five of them. My morn is like, 'You've got to stop buying them!'"
Goofiest T-shirt slogan she owns "My parents are aliens."
Secret way to temp fate "Sometimes, if I wear a certain shirt and I have a great day, I'll wear it again. But, unfortunately, that never works!"
Support system "Whenever I need to talk about anything, I go to my friends."
Most embarrasing moment on set "I haven't really had any, but I guess it is kind of embarrassing when you mess up your lines!"
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|Author:||Ryan, Sandy Fertman|
|Article Type:||Cover Story|
|Date:||Apr 1, 2005|
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|Next Article:||Go West.|
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