Nicole Richie is back, and I mean back.
In a new profile in Elle, Richie discusses everything that's new in her life since The Simple Life made her a household name. There's her kids, her marriage, her successful fashion and jewelry line, a couple new TV shows...
Oh, and there's also this absolutely incredible exchange:
"'I love books,' she says. 'Right now I'm really into science. Physics is what I care about.' Hold up. I'd been numbly nodding along, but now my jet-lagged brain makes a screeching sound, like a needle being dragged off a record. I'm sorry, what? 'Physics,' Nicole Richie repeats. I squint across the table, past the enormous bowl of oatmeal that makes Richie seem even tinier than she actually is, to see if she's fucking with me. Her gaze is level; the expression on her face—so familiar after 15 years of living in the public eye—betrays not even a hint of, 'Yeah, bitch, bet you didn't think I was going to bring up science.'"
Richie, now 35, described her morning to the reporter writing her profile, and it's a serious departure from her Simple Life days of hard partying with the likes of Paris Hilton, Kim Kardashian, Lindsay Lohan and Mary Kate Olsen.
"'First, I woke up late,' she tells me, meaning, like, 6 a.m., as opposed to her normal 5:30 a.m. Then she took a spin around her vegetable garden. ('I have a gardening stage name,' she tells me. 'My name is Nikki Fresh, and the s is a dollar sign, and I listen to '90s hip-hop.') After that, she drove her two kids to school, where she spent some time volunteering and getting book recommendations from the librarians."
In addition to that picture of domestic bliss, Richie has a new show debuting soon — and she caught the eye of Tina Fey to score one of the lead roles. Producers, including Fey, rave about Richie's comedy chops, despite the fact that she's pretty inexperienced at scripted shows at all, let alone scripted comedy.
And with Richie's return to the spotlight comes a whole lot of reflection on her wild-child, drug fueled younger days.
"I did not always love to learn. I did not appreciate education. But that's what I'm doing now. I love learning; I love surrounding myself with people who can teach me things, who don't do the same thing that I do. I just love it," she says now. "It's so easy to get locked into your world. But it's so much cooler just having your energy be open and taking in the world around you."
Read Elle's entire, amazing profile of Richie here.