Ashanti Lands First Big-Screen Acting Role

Singer to portray pregnant teen in 'Coach Carter,' starring Samuel L. Jackson.

Like another singer who's crazy in love with the movies, R&B chanteuse Ashanti is making a play for the big screen.

The Inc. princess has landed a supporting role in the flick "Coach Carter," which stars Samuel L. Jackson as a high school basketball coach. It's the first movie acting role for Ashanti.

"Coach Carter" centers around real-life Bay Area high school basketball coach Ken Carter, who favored academics over athletics when he benched his entire undefeated basketball team for poor classroom performance in 1998. According to her spokesperson, Ashanti will play the part of Kyra, a girlfriend of one of the basketball players (portrayed by Rob Brown of "Finding Forrester") who finds herself pregnant.

Ashanti's rep said the singer will start filming in February and that her recording schedule will be adjusted to accommodate her work on the flick. Ashanti is in the midst of approving tracks for her upcoming remix album, scheduled for release sometime this year, and is writing songs for a new studio album as well (see "Ashanti To Drop Remix LP, DVD; Planning New Studio Album").