Jamie Lynn Spears Wants Daughter Maddie to Play Younger 'Zoey 101' Character in Potential Reboot (Exclusive)
By Liz Calvario
Jamie Lynn Spears could definitely see her daughter following in her footsteps -- even taking on her most recognizable role. The 29-year-old actress reunited with her formerZoey 101 co-stars Paul Butcher, Chris Massey, Sean Flynn, Matthew Underwood, Erin Sanders and Kristin Herrera for an upcoming All That sketch.
Ahead of the episode, the cast spoke with ET's Rachel Smith about the reunion and hopes for a reboot of the Nickelodeon show, where Spears admitted she'd love to see her 12-year-old daughter, Maddie, portray Zoey.
"Maybe she could play Zoey when she was younger or something," Spears said, imagining her little one in a reboot, which she confirmed there were plans for. "But it's just [hard during] quarantine and all this stuff. I think putting everyone's safety first is what we are trying to do right now. And conversations that were started before this have kind of [taken] a slow pace, as everything else in the world."
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'Zoey 101' Cast Reunites Without Jamie Lynn Spears
"I think we are still having the conversations and figuring out how to tell the story in a way that is going to do it justice, because we want it to be good," she added. "We want it to relate to the fans. That's why the show worked in the first place, because we connected to our fans and where they were in their life. So we want to make sure we find a home and the best story to tell."
The Zoey 101 cast's All That appearance marks the first on-air reunion they've had since it wrapped in 2008. The skit shows Spears reprising her All That role as the grumpy, 101-year-old, bacon-loving bodyguard Thelma Stump, before she gets together with her former Zoey 101 cast. Spears was only 11 when she joined the Nickelodeon family.
"It's really strange to look at my now-12-year-old and be like, 'Oh my gosh, like, I was on a show at this point.' It's bizarre, I'm like, I can't imagine," Spears said of Maddie. "But then I see all the things that she does that are so amazing. I'm like, I could've never stepped up in those ways. So it just really is cool to be able to put myself where she is and what I was doing at this time… I'm able to have a different perspective that I think is important as we hopefully go on this next journey of seeing my children see me when I was their age. It's really bizarre."
As for reuniting with her cast, Spears said that at first she was a bit overwhelmed to see everyone -- "But in a good way!"
"This is, was, a very quick reunion. Kind of really just for us to get to see each other again and kind of just see if we saw that chemistry, if it was still there, and it was!" she said. "So I think for me, it was just kind of one of those things that assured me that the fans have been wanting it, and then figuring out, is it doable? And this was really fun! We did it where it all began, where I literally got my start, on All That and Nickelodeon, and I played two characters. So it was just really a lot of fun, it felt right to me, and hopefully we get to do it again."
For Flynn, he was "super surprised" to get the call for a reunion. "I had already had the privilege of getting together with some of the guys beforehand, some of the girls as well. We had a little dinner," he said, noting that Spears was missing that night. "I was like, what? Are you kidding me? This is crazy, I can't believe I get to see everyone again. I can't believe I get to see Jamie again. It was awesome. It felt sort of like a dream that had just come true."
Over the years, Massey made sure to keep in touch with his former co-star, with the actors saying that he is the "glue" that keeps everyone together, reaching out and making sure everyone's good."
They also understand how much their Zoey fans love them, with Butcher adding that "people have just connected to these characters so hardcore. ... Just like we are a family, I feel like the fans, they grew up with us, and they wanna see us where we are now, and they want a window into our lives again."
See their reunion on All That on Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Nickelodeon.