Nick Lachey takes Jessica Simpson's breath away. Literally.
Simpson covers Berlin's "Take My Breath Away," otherwise known as the love theme from "Top Gun," as one of three bonus tracks on her re-release of In This Skin (see "Jessica Simpson Plans Breathtaking In This Skin Re-Release"). It's a personal favorite of hers for many reasons, one of which being that she made sure it was playing during her first kiss with her future husband.
"I've been obsessed with 'Take My Breath Away' for a very long time," Simpson said. "It was always my romantic song. It was [playing during] the very first love scene I ever saw in a movie. I crushed on Tom Cruise forever, and I've always, always told all of my friends, when I hear that song, there's something so special about it that I will not be in love until a man takes my breath away."
Simpson didn't have to wait long for that to happen. Her first physical encounter with Lachey, and a completely innocent one at that, had the desired effect.
"The first time Nick hugged me, I had to back up against the wall," Simpson said. "It sounds corny, but it literally took the breath out of me. I would break out in hives, be all nervous, because he completely consumed every inch of me."
She tried to put on the brakes by refusing to kiss him for their first five dates because she wanted to be sure that she would have the same impact on him. Plus, she said, she was worried that she would seem like a 98 Degrees groupie if she gave in too soon. "I didn't want to be that girl," she said. "I wanted to be something he would remember."
But after five dates, she said, she could resist his charms no more. And though she would normally "shy away" from him, Simpson took control — and set the mood with what would become the couple's special song.
"We were in the car, it was pouring down rain, and I just went in for the kiss," Simpson said. "And in the middle of it, I stopped the whole kiss, and put on 'Take My Breath Away,' because he was the guy who took my breath away. I wanted that moment to be that romantic scene, and it was."
To commemorate that moment, Simpson recorded two versions of the song, one as a duet with her husband, and a solo version that landed on her re-release. Lachey helped produce the vocals for both of her cover songs — the other being a version of Robbie Williams' "Angels" — which was a tough session, Simpson said, because she had to do both songs in one day. Lachey helped her get in the right mood, she said, by keeping his hand in her back pocket "and being right there" during the recording session.
Plans for the video, which is scheduled to film later this week, are still in the works. Though she originally planned to shoot it at Miramar, the San Diego, California, Naval Air Station where "Top Gun" was filmed, Simpson said that they wouldn't reenact scenes from the movie. The military theme remains intact, with locations being scouted among other naval bases and aircraft carriers for the performance shots, she said.
"Nick is not going to be Tom Cruise," she promised. "We're not going to take it to that level of kind of cheese. I'm definitely doing a lot of stuff with troops, but it's more about the men and women in uniform."
"Making the Video: Jessica Simpson" is scheduled to air April 6.
For a full-length feature on Jessica Simpson, check out "Jessica Simpson: The Innocent."