Ashlee Simpson Trades Spotlight For Supporting Role In 'Wannabe'

She begins work on the romantic comedy this week.

After working to get out of the shadows and into the spotlight, Ashlee Simpson is going back to a position she's long been comfortable with — a supporting role. The actress/singer starts work this week on her first feature film, the romantic comedy "Wannabe," in which her aspiring-actress character plays second fiddle to another would-be star.

Simpson plays Clea, who is one of a group of struggling entertainers trying to make names for themselves in Los Angeles (see "Ashlee Simpson To Play An Actress In 'Wannabe' Flick"). She befriends the film's main character, Brier (played by Pell James from "Uptown Girls"), in a highly sought-after acting class. Brier has just moved to L.A. after working in New York as a model. The two team up to help Brier reconnect with Luke (Steven Strait from the upcoming "Sky High"), a struggling singer/songwriter she's crushed on since their time together in New York. Luke has been toiling for years without a record deal, and Brier and Clea decide to create some fake hype to get him noticed. The price of his fame, however, turns out to be more than the would-be lovers and their friends anticipated.

"It's basically about musicians trying to find their way," Simpson said of the project when it was first announced in September. "There's a guy who gets too old to be a musician, and all of us become his fan club."

The film also stars Carrie Fisher as Brier's acerbic agent, Shannyn Sossamon ("40 Days and 40 Nights," "A Knight's Tale"), Fisher Stevens ("Hackers") and Kip Pardue ("Thirteen"). Music video director Meiert Avis — who's worked with U2 and Audioslave and most recently helmed New Found Glory's "All Downhill From Here" clip — will make his return to directing movies, following 1989's "Far From Home." Simpson's father, Joe Simpson, will serve as an executive producer for the project.

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