Jessica Simpson’s making a public affair out of her new video — by inviting her famous friends to appear in her roller-skating-fantasy clip as a spoof on the paparazzi tracking her every move.
“The whole idea is that everybody’s just so interested to know what’s going on, and you can’t really control that when you’re a celebrity,” Simpson said of the video for “A Public Affair,” the debut single from her album of the same name, which is due August 29. “You can’t stop it, so you just gotta think positively — just gather up all your girlfriends and go out and smile and look 100 percent.”
While much has been made of how “A Public Affair” bears some resemblance to Madonna’s “Holiday,” Simpson’s video is heavily influenced by Olivia Newton-John’s 1980 film, “Xanadu,” as well as several famous Material Girl moments — including videos like “Sorry” (with its choreographed roller-skating) and “Music” (with a celeb making a cameo as the star’s chauffeur). Instead of Ali G, Simpson’s got Ryan Seacrest in the driver’s seat. “He doesn’t like to be called the limo driver,” Simpson said. “He’s my ‘Alfie,’ that’s what he likes to be called.”
In the clip, Seacrest carts around Simpson’s gaggle of gal pals, which includes Eva Longoria (“one of my best friends, we’re both Texas girls”), Christina Applegate (“one of the funniest girls around, she has such a dry wit”), and Christina Milian, who was invited along not because she’s a Simpson confidant, but because Simpson thinks she’s “hot and beautiful and talented.”
“I knew she was photographed a lot, so she’d understand the concept of it,” the singer explained. “And thank God, she really jumped on it and wanted to do it, so now I have a new friend in Christina.”
With “X-Men: The Last Stand” director Brett Ratner behind the camera, Simpson couldn’t resist including a catfight, something Ratner mastered in Mariah Carey’s “Heartbreaker” video, in which Carey wrecked a movie-theater bathroom as her alter ego, Bianca. This time, the fight is between Simpson and Maria Menounos, who gets upset when she sees her boyfriend making eyes at the blonde bombshell. This leads to two fantasy sequences: one where the boyfriend imagines what it would be like to be with Jessica, and one where Maria imagines what it would be like to tear Simpson’s hair out. “I ended up pulling her extensions out, and she pulls my extensions out,” Simpson laughed.
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Simpson revealed that working with Ratner was rewarding, but demanding. “I know Brett’s going to make everything right, but sometimes he makes it too right: take after take after take,” Simpson said.
“Well, we had to get the lip synch, the performance …” Ratner said in his own defense.
“It’s not a movie, it’s a music video!” Simpson countered.
“It’s a mini-movie,” Ratner concluded.