Michelle Williams‘ work as the audiobook narrator of Britney Spears‘ best-selling memoir, The Woman in Me, is one of her top performances. The Oscar-nominated actress hasn’t discussed the project, but her BFF Busy Philipps has confirmed that Williams “felt a connection” when approached about the project.
“We lost it,” Philipps recounted during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live. “She was like, ‘I have to do this, right?’ I was like, ‘Yes! Obviously!’ And she’s like, ‘I really do, Biz.’ She really felt a connection.”
Philips, who released her own memoir This Will Only Hurt a Little in 2018 continued, “We all — and Michelle, even younger than me — we all came up in a very particular time in this industry, that was what the majority of my memoir is about, as young women, and we were subjected to a lot. I think that there was a lot that was, sadly, very relatable to all women in Britney’s book. But I thought that Michelle doing it was just incredible and really beautiful. Britney deserves our respect.”
Williams was announced as the narrator of The Woman in Me in October. At the time, the actress released only a short statement: “I stand with Britney.” The audiobook features Spears reading the introduction, but Williams reads the rest of the chapters, including one where she mimics Justin Timberlake talking to Ginuwine.
In the now-viral moment, Williams reads the line “Oh yeah, fo’ shiz, fo’ shiz. Ginuwine! What’s up, homie?” in Timberlake’s voice and it is truly incredible.
Philipps and Williams have been longtime friends since meeting on the set of Dawson’s Creek. Philipps often accompanies Williams to awards shows, including to the 2017 Oscars when the pair were memorably photographed reacting to the wrong Best Picture being announced from the front row. Philipps previously discussed Williams working on The Woman in Me on her podcast, Busy Philipps is Doing Her Best.
“Grease” was the word — and the movie — that inspired the iconic video for Britney Spears’ debut single, “…Baby One More Time.”
Indeed, the same California high school where John Travolta’s Danny and Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy were “Born to Hand Jive” in the 1978 movie classic set the scene for Spears’ graduation to the top of the pop world.
“It was filmed at Venice Beach High School — the same place they filmed ‘Grease,’” Felicia Culotta — who was the then 16-year-old Spears’ assistant/chaperone — told The Post.
“And we were just like, ‘Oh my gosh — nothing’s gonna get any better than this!’”
The classic clip that premiered on MTV in November 1998 — two months after the single’s release — was the brainchild of
“The video was 100 percent her idea,” said Barry Weiss, who was then president of Spears’ label, Jive Records.
“That was a huge, huge vehicle that broke her on a global basis.”
Indeed, the timing couldn’t have been better: MTV’s “TRL” premiered just two months before Spears would deliver the video for her army of new fans.
“The time that it was on during the day meant that kids would rush home from school and vote for their favorite video,” said Lori Majewski, host of SiriusXM’s “Fierce: Women in Music,” who was Entertainment Editor at Teen People magazine when Spears launched her recording career.
And those young fans would become instantly acquainted with Culotta, who made a last-minute appearance in the video at Spears’ request.
“They said, ‘Oh, we don’t have a teacher,’” said Culotta. “And they’re all kind of looking around, and they’re like, ‘We don’t have a budget.’
“And so Britney said, ‘Fe will do it!’ I’m like, ‘OK.’ I literally went to the Salvation Army, which wasn’t far, and got this polyester suit and these old-lady brown shoes and a pair of glasses with no lens and just simply stood at the desk.”
But the ensuing hilarity required extra takes when Spears and Culotta couldn’t “stop ourselves from laughing,” she said.”I got reprimanded quite frequently … We were so excited.”
Now Culotta and Weiss are both producers of “& Juliet,” the Broadway musical featuring some of Spears’ classic hits.
And the “…Baby One More Time” video — with Spears in all of her schoolgirl-garbed glory — will forever be what connected the young singer to a generation of girls 25 years after her same-named debut album dropped on Jan. 12. 1999.
“People made a big deal out of the fact that she was wearing a short skirt, that she tied up her shirt,” said Majewski.
“She was just behaving as any other teenage girl would.”
Britney Spears has teamed up with Snapchat to celebrate the 25th anniversary of her hit album Baby One More Time. The pop star, who released the chart-topping album a quarter of a century ago, is now offering fans a unique augmented reality experience.
The Britney Spears Merch Lens lets fans try on a new merchandise item, the Spears letterman jacket, while listening to Baby One More Time in the background. Fans can also recreate the iconic music video's shoulder shimmy with a different lens and add songs and remixes from the album into their Snaps.
Now, Britney is turning to Snapchat to express herself and celebrate the 25th anniversary of her debut album, '...Baby One More Time'. Fans who follow her on Snapchat can expect behind-the-scenes footage, a look back at past performances, and details about merchandise.
The celebration follows a teaser Britney posted on Twitter, hinting at something new coming soon. She confirmed this with her Snapchat announcement, writing: "Celebrate the 25th anniversary of my debut album, '...Baby One More Time,' with the new exclusive anniversary collection, available now."
Michael Stein, one of Britney Spears‘ longtime dancers, died Dec. 23 at age 32. No cause or location has been given for the death, which just came to light today.
The news was delivered by his partner, Kaylie Yee, via social media on Wednesday, Jan. 10 —Stein’s would-be 33rd birthday.
“I’m not sure I could ever find the perfect words to summarize what Michael meant to me,” Yee wrote in an Instagram caption “As tears roll down my face, all I can think about is the incredibly huge hole that is left in all of us, knowing that he is no longer here.”
Yee said that she and Stein — her “best friend” — had been together for “10 years of adventure, laughs, love and living out our dreams in L.A.”
Stein served as the dance captain on Spears’ Piece of Me tour in 2018, and performed with her during her Las Vegas residency.
His resume also included work with Kylie Minogue, Dove Cameron, and Little Mix, and appeared on the TV shows Glee, American Idol and America’s Got Talent.
Yee continued her tribute post: “With all of the beautiful moments, of course there were hard times, but he never lost his passion for L.A. or his dedication to the industry. This is what he was always sure about and what I admired most of all. Michael, in honour of you, I promise to never give up, to keep fighting for the dream, and to keep living for the best moments in life.”
Spears has not yet publicly commented.