Jessica Simpson started getting in the holiday spirit a little early this year, but now that she’s finished both her Christmas album, ReJoyce, and her Christmas special for ABC, she can’t wait to take a small break before heading back to juggling multiple projects. On the singer’s plate for the new year? The usual stuff, like filming movies, writing music and getting her Jane Fonda on.
“I’m going to be doing an exercise video, just because it’s fun, and why not?” Simpson said. “Exercise is such a huge part of my life after the role of Daisy, so I just thought it would be cool.”
Since landing her first movie role as Daisy Duke in the upcoming “Dukes of Hazzard,” Simpson has been working her butt off, so to speak, spending upwards of two hours a day doing squats and lunges (see “Jessica Simpson’s Lickable Fragrances Won’t Get In The Way Of A Perky Butt” ). Her new regimen gave Simpson the idea to team up with her longtime personal trainer — and childhood friend — Mike Alexander from Sports Club/L.A. They plan not only to develop her own how-to video, but to get in the branding game with exercise equipment as well.
“There’s a treadmill I’m going to be putting out,” she said. “And Mike’s going to be giving me good tips for the video. He’s a great guy, and he really keeps me focused, which is hard to do down in Baton Rouge, [Louisiana,]” where she’s midway through shooting “Dukes” and where “everything’s fried, Southern, Cajun.”
Perhaps some of that Southern feel will end up seeping into her next album, Simpson said, since she’s toying with experimenting with other genres in order to make more timeless music. “I want to still keep it pop,” she said, “but steer left a little bit. Maybe I’ll put a little bit of country in there, maybe a little bit of jazz.”
Though she’s been listening to Björk for inspiration, Simpson doesn’t want to overplan what she does next, lest the tunes sound forced. “I’m not going to put a lot of thought into it,” she said.
In the meantime, she’s content with getting that timeless sound by covering classic carols for Christmas, singing “O Holy Night” with Brian McKnight; “Little Drummer Boy” with her sister, Ashlee; “Baby It’s Cold Outside” with her husband, Nick Lachey; and “Silent Night” with the 35 members of the Simpson-Lachey clan on the finale of “Nick and Jessica’s Family Christmas,” airing Wednesday (December 1) at 9 p.m. on ABC. (Click for photos from “Nick and Jessica’s Family Christmas.” ) Part of the reason they did this variety special, the couple’s second for the network, was to reunite relatives who hadn’t seen each other since their wedding; she’s transforming her old family tradition of gathering around the piano and singing together during the holidays into a new tradition involving the whole extended family. “I’m so excited, now that I’m married and looking to start a family one day, that we can create new Christmas memories of our own,” she said.
One of those memories — if they go through with it — could also involve a new home. She said she and Lachey are talking about going in together on a second residence in New York as their Christmas gifts to each other so that they don’t have to stay in hotels every time they hit the Big Apple. “I don’t know where in New York,” she said, “but I just love the vibe of New York, and it would be very fun for us.”
“Nick and Jessica’s Family Christmas” will re-air on MTV beginning December 15 at 10 p.m.