One year after a disastrous attempt at an interview, during which she reportedly acted erratically and stormed out wearing thousands of dollars in designer clothes, Britney Spears has given OK! magazine another shot in a revealing chat that hits newsstands on Thursday.
In excerpts from the interview provided to MTV News, Spears said that her in-process album is the best one she's ever recorded, describes her surprise at baby sister Jamie Lynn's pregnancy and reveals her hopes for her two young sons. (Hint: They don't involve show business.)
"I think it is more urban. I'm working with producers who are just amazing," Spears said of the as-yet-untitled album, which she predicted would come out within the next six to nine months, and which will include songs produced by the Underdogs (Chris Brown, Justin Timberlake). "There is this fresh new energy."
Spears said she's written more for this album than any other in her career and that she spends time at the piano in her living room every day, working on songs. "This is my best work ever," she said of the album's message.
The interview comes at a time when Spears finally appears to be gaining a measure of control over a personal life that had spiraled into chaos. After becoming a staple of the tabloids with her bizarre public outings and messy personal life — which included two forced hospitalizations earlier this year for mental evaluations — Spears has seemingly settled down in the past six months, recently settling her custody dispute with ex-husband Kevin Federline and gaining more time with her sons, Preston and Jayden James.
Given her tumultuous rise to the top and scrape near the bottom, the 26-year-old Spears said she's not sure if she'd like to see the boys follow in her child-star path. "I'd rather not, but I'd love them unconditionally if they wanted to," she said. "I'd just as soon they have a more normal childhood."
Though Quentin Tarantino has thrown water on the rumors that Spears might take the lead role in his reportedly in-the-works remake of "Faster, Pussycat! Kill! Kill!," the singer said her positive reviews for appearances on "How I Met Your Mother" have made her think about acting more. "I'd love to, if I can find the right movie," she said, adding that an opportunity just came up (she wouldn't reveal specifics). "We're just trying to work it out with my schedule, with the children."
Spears also opened up about the conflicted feelings she had about seeing her younger sister, 17-year-old "Zoey 101" star Jamie Lynn Spears, give birth to her first child, Maddie. "That was special, but it was also strange, because she's always been the baby, and now the baby was having a baby," Spears said. "It was mind-boggling. I was shocked a little bit. But it was really cool, and she was happy."
The cover story also features an interview with Spears' dad, Jamie Spears, who has been serving as the co-conservator of her estate since February 1. Jamie Spears said the decision last month to give Federline full custody of the boys was reached as a means of avoiding a full trial.
"Britney and Kevin wanted to settle, but there were issues of how much time we wanted, and there was an upcoming court hearing scheduled," he explained. It made no sense to go to trial, so the couple reached a temporary agreement. Jamie said that Britney might gain an additional overnight with the boys by October 1, but the custody agreement will remain otherwise unchanged until the end of the year, or until the conservatorship ends.
Jamie described Federline as having a "wonderful heart," but said he's not happy about the aspiring rapper getting a bump up in his monthly payments to $20,000 as a result of the custody agreement. The goal, he said, is for the couple eventually to have joint custody of the children.
Jamie also said that the conservatorship will be reevaluated in December and, depending on where Britney is at the time, it could end then. Asked if he feared that his daughter could fall back into the destructive pattern she was in before he was named co-conservator, Jamie answered, "If it ends when it is supposed to, no."