“She’s a mother who loves her daughter and only wanted the best for her. Maybe she made some mistakes, but in the moment, she thought she was doing the best that she could. As parents, that’s really all we can do.”
Nicole Oliver is playing the role of Lynne Spears in Lifetime’s highly anticipated original movie, “Britney Ever After.” The world premiere is this Saturday night, February 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT. The film stars Natasha Bassett as Britney Spears. Additionally, Nathan Keyes plays Justin Timberlake, Clayton Chitty plays Kevin Federline, Jillian Walchuck plays Paris Hilton, Connor Paton plays Lance Bass, and Matt Visser plays Joey Fatone. The movie was written by Anne-Marie Hess [Read Ann-Marie’s interview HERE.], directed by Leslie Libman, and produced by Asylum Entertainment for Lifetime. Steve Michaels, Jonathan Koch, and Joan Harrison served as the executive producers.
With roughly 200 credits listed on her IMDB, a dozen award nominations, and three BTVA wins, Nicole is a firmly established, successful actor with a thriving career. She is adored the world over for her portrayal of Princess Celestia and Cheerilee on “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.” Her remarkable voiceover talents can also be heard in Seth Rogan’s “Sausage Party,” which is being released on Netflix February 23. A little later this year, she’ll be appearing in “Wonder,” a feature film starring Julia Roberts and Jacob Tremblay.
On the morning of her Entertaining Options interview, Nicole was up before dawn to prepare for two auditions and a business meeting — one that could potentially add a whole new element to her already impressive, multifaceted career.
“Things are good. It’s been crazy. It’s been hectic. It’s been fabulous. It’s been surprising. And, it’s been predictable,” Nicole began. “There’s a foot of snow on the ground and I’ve got to pull myself together, make lunch for the kids, hit myself with my pretty sticks, put my snow gear on, clear off my car, and head downtown to fight for parking on the unplowed streets.”
Nicole wasn’t complaining. If anything, the prospect of such an outrageously busy day seemed to fuel her. It was only 7:30 in the morning and she was already primed and ready to go, eager to show the world her dazzle.
“Yes, there are some obvious physical similarities between Lynn Spears and myself,” Nicole agreed when asked about how she landed her latest role, “but it was a casting director who was newer to me that brought me into this project.”
“I went in for the audition and it just felt great,” she continued. “I really, really connected with Natasha Bassett who played Brittany and Nathan Keyes who played Justin — I actually had both of them to my house for Canadian Thanksgiving dinner. I’ve known Matthew Harrison, the actor who played my husband, for years. We all just had a blast. It was a really lovely, wonderful, challenging, and slightly nerve-racking experience — nerve-racking because it’s really weird to play a real person, especially one attached to someone who is so beloved and so protected by her fans.”
One of the other people Nicole clicked with was the director, Leslie Libman. Leslie is responsible for Lifetime’s groundbreaking take on Charles Manson. “Manson’s Lost Girls” (2016) is a look at the helter-skelter horror from the inside as experienced by Linda Kasabian (played by Mackenzie Mauzy), a key witness in the Manson trial.
“Lesley is a real truth seeker. On set, she gave us lots of freedom,” Nicole recalled.”One of my favorite moments was when she said, ‘Just improv, talk to the camera about your daughter.’ What an incredible experience for an actor to be able to do that.”
Entertaining Options asked the actress how she connected with the role.
“I have kids who are in the business and that’s what I really connected to,” she replied. “I read Lynne Spears’ books and I tried to figure out her why — there’s always that question of ‘How much is she to blame?’ But this is a woman who really loved her family. She was married to a man who had many demons and big struggles. She was the breadwinner for a while, she was teaching and she had to go take care of her younger kids to make some money while her husband was struggling through his alcoholism. Britney was 16 and on the road. It was interesting for me to think about, ‘When does the parents’ role end?’ Well, it never really does, but sometimes these ends are imposed upon you and you’ve got to let go so your children can fly and all you can do is hope you’ve done okay.”
“There’s just something about a good old-fashioned tale of struggle and redemption that inspires us,” Nicole added. “We love a comeback! This is a part of her life that has lots of ups and downs. It’s a fun ride. With Leslie’s beautiful guidance, the characters are real people, they are not cardboard, you can invest yourself in them. I loved working with Leslie, I felt valued and validated. And boy, she pushed! She’s tough. But I loved it. She’s fantastic!”
“But here’s the interesting thing,” Nicole noted, “we all think we know this story because it’s based on a real person’s life. We’ve all read about her, we’ve all watched her, and we’ve all drawn our own conclusions, so I think the only thing I could ask is if people would just go in with an open mind. This is a story about a girl who follows her dreams and fights her demons. It is a journey of love and understanding and power. It’s not like we don’t know how it ends, I’m not telling you who died in ‘The Walking Dead!'” she laughed.
“The dance sequences are unreal. The characters are fleshed out. The story touches on elements of mental illness — which is nothing to be taken lightly — and it touches on the demons of fame — which, again, is nothing to be taken lightly. At its core, it’s about the pressures of a woman who is trying to balance work and family. If you take away all the glitz and glamour of the story, you can probably apply it to almost anybody in any city across America. It’s not a unique tale… but it is unique because it’s Britney.”
“Britney Ever After” premieres Saturday, February 18 at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Lifetime.