Ever since the success of “Newlyweds,” Jessica Simpson has wanted to maximize her on-screen exposure. Now, with a new comedy development deal with ABC, she’s made another step toward her dream gig — filling Barbara Eden’s sequined bra in an “I Dream of Jeannie” movie.
But first she’ll hone her acting skills on an ABC sitcom, which, like “Newlyweds,” will be executive produced by her dad, Joe Simpson, the network said Friday (November 7). Simpson’s acting résumé already includes guest spots on “That ’70s Show” and “The Twilight Zone.”
“Jessica has infectious energy and unmistakable star quality,” ABC Entertainment President Susan Lyne said in a statement. “She has a built-in fanbase in both music and television, which is a great jumping-off point for us. We’re looking forward to developing the ideal showcase for her considerable talents.”
Simpson has met with executives from Sony Pictures — which shares the same parent company as her record label — to discuss their upcoming projects, and the one that interested her most was the “Jeannie” remake.
“I was just like, ‘Ohmigosh, that’s the one I want to do!’ I want to be Barbara Eden, I want to do all that stuff,” she said, crossing her arms and nodding, imitating Eden’s signature move. “That’s so fun, you know? Like, I just think that would be a great first role for me, because it wouldn’t be one of those cheesy pop-star roles they normally take. If I’m going to have a movie career, I don’t want it to be the little here today, gone tomorrow movie career. I want to be like a Reese Witherspoon, a Meg Ryan or Julia Roberts. I want to make it last.”
Simpson has yet to read for the part of Jeannie, but she does have a more solid deal in the works. “There’s also a Marvel Comics [character] that I’m kind of signed up for,” she said. “I can’t really talk about it because it’s one of those legal things, but, yeah, I foresee big movies in the future.”
A rep for Marvel would not say what role the singer is up for.
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