BRITNEY SPEARS IS BACK: THE INTERVIEW
She’s not yet 30, but the pop icon has lived a life and a half in public. Now, with a new hit album and world tour, the beat goes on.
By LAURA BROWN
Britney Spears is on the phone from rehearsals in Los Angeles, where she is busy singing, dancing, and “It’s Britney, bitch”-ing in preparation for her summer tour. She sounds energized and positive, occasionally flashing a wry sense of humor that those who see her only on TV and in the tabloids never glimpse.
Professionally, Britney has a lot to feel good about : Her new album, Femme Fatale, is receiving the best reviews of her almost-20-year career. “I’ve worked so hard on this album, so it’s really refreshing,” she says. “I feel like I’m drinking a tall glass of homemade sweet tea on a really hot, beautiful day.”
LAURA BROWN: What has been your best fashion look?
BRITNEY SPEARS: I went to the Grammys in 2002, and I had really curly, curly hair. I had a red dress on. It wasn’t short and saucy; it was a long red dress. That dress was fun.
LB: What was your biggest fashion mistake?
BS: Ten years ago at the Billboard awards, I wore this orange hat and orange bra and orange booty pants and purple fishnets. Oh, and I had an orange jacket on.
LB: Was it Halloween?
BS [laughs]: No, it wasn’t Halloween. I actually thought I looked hot at the time. But, um, I definitely stood out. I thought it was just a marvelous idea to wear this purple and orange outfit; it was like high school colors. I was a cheerleader for a school I didn’t know. People were talking about it, but not in a good way.
LB: Your hair is looking long and lustrous. Are you whipping it back and forth?
BS: Yeah, I love ponytails. I’m a wash-and-go girl. But, oh yeah, I like to whip it.
LB: Are you enjoying dancing again?
BS: I love to dance, so it’s very exciting. The tour rehearsals have been going really well. I think it will be my best show yet.
LB: Will you pull out any giant snakes?
BS: Ha, we’ll see about that. Hopefully, I won’t be in the wilderness onstage.
LB: What songs get you moving?
BS: I love “S&M” and “Only Girl” by Rihanna; that’s why I jumped on the “S&M” remix. She’s really cool. I like her a lot.
LB: Everybody has Bieber fever. Have you met Justin? Would you ever want to work with him?
BS: I think he’s adorable. I just saw his movie, and I really didn’t realize how big he was. He’s enormous; he’s just Mr. Man. A lot of the movie is really similar to what I did when I was starting out. I did a promo tour for a year, going into radio stations and all that. It was so cool to see our similarities.
LB: “It’s Britney, bitch” is classic, but you say you’re less bitchy than impatient. What makes you impatient?
BS: When things take a long time, I just get really stubborn. When I know that things are supposed to go a certain way [laughs] and when it’s my time of the month.
LB: What makes you laugh uncontrollably?
BS: Usually when people trip or fall or run into something. Not to be mean, but I can’t help it. If they really hurt themselves, then I feel bad, but if they accidentally do it and they stand up and act cool like nobody saw them, I have to laugh.
LB: It’s been eight years since you kissed Madonna onstage at the MTV awards. What have you learned from her?
BS: I actually saw her a couple of weeks ago at a party. I guess she’s really taught me to stay true to myself. That seems like a simple thing to say, but she taught me through action, not just by saying it. There are so many people around you that have opinions, but you just have to listen to your instincts.
LB: You’ve said Jennifer Lopez inspires you professionally. Would you ever want to be a judge on American Idol?
BS: I would! That would be awesome. I wouldn’t be a tough judge, though.
LB: What do you think of Lady Gaga?
BS: She’s unique and extremely talented. I love her spin on everything.
LB: On your Web site, you have a “BS Alert” where you clear up gossip. Have you ever been tempted to make something up to see what happens?
BS: No way! They make up enough stories without my help.
LB: How has being a mom affected how you approach your career?
BS: I think things through a little bit more, and I worry a lot. I’m more straightforward, and I speak up more than I did before. When I was younger, I wouldn’t speak up as much, but now that I’m a mom, things have changed.
LB: Would you like to get married again? More kids?
BS: I’ve thought about both, so if the timing was right …
LB: Could you see your sons performing?
BS: If they have a love and passion for the arts and that’s what they want to do, then so be it. They are both little actors and so charismatic, I wouldn’t be surprised at all.
LB: Which one of your hits made you realize you’d made it?
BS: From the beginning, probably “… Baby One More Time.” I haven’t seen that video in such a long time.
LB: What’s your favorite video?
BS: “Overprotected.” I just think it says a lot. It was directed so well, it was really colorful, and the dancing was amazing.
LB: Who is your greatest inspiration musically?
BS: Whitney Houston. I’ve loved her since I was a kid.
LB: If you met yourself at a party, what would you think?
BS: If I met me, I would say a quick hello and then think that I was a really nice girl.
LB: What is your perfect day, morning through to night?
BS: Getting up with coffee–two cups of coffee. Having a good workout, taking a swim, my boys being there and just having a good day at the pool–we have a theme-park slide. We’d have snow cones, then I’d go to the movies and spend time with my boyfriend. Maybe a Femme Fatale moment [laughs].
LB: What is your guilty pleasure?
BS: Bapchi’s caramel toffee from Vosges. They were in my hotel room, and I made everyone bring them from their rooms.
LB: What don’t people know about you?
BS: I’m pretty normal, you know? Like I said, the type of day I love is just like everybody else’s. I’m like everybody else.