Alicia Keys Works Her Hollywood Mojo, Joins Johansson In ‘Nanny Diaries’

Singer/songwriter expands her résumé with two roles in upcoming films.

When she shared The Diary of Alicia Keys with the world, things worked out pretty well for the R&B superstar — to the tune of eight Grammy nominations.

Now, Keys is hoping that a different diary will open another successful chapter in her career.

The 25-year-old singer/pianist/aspiring thespian is the newest addition to “The Nanny Diaries,” a satirical comedy based on the best-selling novel that will begin production shortly. Keys joins a formidable cast that includes Scarlett Johansson, Paul Giamatti, Chris Evans and Laura Linney.

“Diaries” follows the story of idealistic young Annie Braddock (Johansson), the product of a working-class New Jersey family. As she enters the working world for the first time, Annie — whose nurse mother (Broadway star Donna Murphy, “Spider-Man 2″) is pressuring her to become a respectable businesswoman — has her own dreams of pursuing a career in anthropology. When a chance encounter helps her fall in with New York’s cultural elite, the young woman decides to duck her decisions by accepting a nanny position for a powerful family known simply as “the X’s.”

With Giamatti and Linney slated to play Mr. and Mrs. X, co-directors Shari Springer Berman and Robert Pulcini (both of “American Splendor” fame) have tapped Keys to play Annie’s best friend in the flick. As Mrs. X presents Annie with an insatiable list of nanny demands and the surly Mr. X becomes increasingly difficult to endure, Annie’s problems are compounded by her crush on a Park Avenue head-turner (Evans).

Keys recently wrapped up filming “Smokin’ Aces,” a hitman comedy that stars the songstress as an assassin and will likely mark her acting debut (see “Jeremy Piven Psyched To Have ‘Amazing Artist’ Alicia Keys In ‘Smokin’ Aces’ “ ). Ryan Reynolds, Ben Affleck, Jeremy Piven and Don Cheadle co-star in that movie, which is expected in theaters toward the end of this year. UPN also has plans to develop an hour-long drama loosely based on Keys’ experiences growing up as a multiracial child in the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood of New York. (See “Alicia Keys’ Early Years To Be Made Into A TV Series” )

Based on former nannies Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus’ New York Times best-seller of the same name, “The Nanny Diaries” begins filming in New York this month, and is being produced by Richard Gladstein (“Finding Neverland,” “The Bourne Identity”) and distributed by Bob and Harvey Weinstein’s post-Miramax venture, the Weinstein Company.

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