EXCLUSIVE: Why Natasha Bassett Thinks Britney Spears Will Enjoy Lifetime's Unauthorized Biopic About Her

Raphael Chestang
Entertainment Tonight

Only ET was on the set of Lifetime's Britney Spears biopic with star Natasha Bassett, who dished on what makes her the perfect person to play the pop icon.

"I have a huge amount of respect for Britney and for her career," Bassett told ET's Leanne Aguilera. "I listened to her music so much growing up. I have videos of me as a tween practicing her songs in the mirror with a hairbrush in my hand."

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Right now, the young Australian actress is best known for her scene-stealing role in the film Hail, Caesar!, but that's all about to change once viewers see her slithering across the floor, channeling Spears' most memorable performances in the upcoming TV movie.

"I've watched every video I can. Every interview I can," said Bassett, who admitted she's not a natural dancer. "I just immersed myself into Britneyland."

As the unauthorized project is moving forward without Spears' blessing (a rep told ET that Spears will not be contributing to the movie "in any way, shape or form"), Bassett hopes that her hard work results in a performance that wins over the GRAMMY winner.

"I really hope she watches the movie, because I think she'd really enjoy it," Bassett said. "It's really a love letter to her and to her story, so I really hope she watches it and I just wish her all the happiness in the world."

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The upcoming two-hour film will span Spears' early days in Kentwood, Louisiana, her high-profile romance with Justin Timberlake and her struggles following her parents' divorce, as well as her short-lived marriages to Jason Alexander and Kevin Federline. It will also cover Spears' custody battle over her young sons and career highlights like kissing Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.

"I started to gain a lot more of an understanding of what she went through," Bassett said. "And it was very sad. I just feel like I have so much more of an understanding of what she went through now."

Timberlake, Federline and Alexander will be played by Nathan Keyes, Clayton Chitty and Kelly McCabe, respectively.


Keyes opened up about his transformation into a young J.T., saying, "He's got all those iconic hair styles. We affectionately call them the ramen noodle hair. We also do this curl, which is like the cap and highlight number and then we get the darker look and the little pompadour later, so we kind of span all time with it."

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Aside from the hairdos, Bassett remembers Timberlake's relationship with Spears as a huge focal point for a generation of teenyboppers before social media.

"I think they had such a special relationship, and it was something very pure," Bassett said. "It's been really lovely being able to experience that relationship through this story."


One thing she was not eager to experience was dancing with a snake draped over her shoulders.

"It was awful. I was crying," Bassett recalled. "I'm getting like panic attacks thinking about that snake."

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Fortunately for Bassett, she learned a trick for channeling Spears' fearlessness in any situation.

"Just saying 'It's Britney, b**ch' over and over in my head," she said.

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