“It was extremely traumatic,” the Australian actress, 23, told The New York Daily News. “It was traumatic having to experience through my eyes what she experienced.”
The movie follows Spears’ rise to fame and several of her high-profile relationships, including her romance with Justin Timberlake from 1999 to 2002, her 55-hour marriage to Jason Alexander in 2004 and her three-year marriage to Kevin Federline, with whom she shares sons Sean and Jayden. The unauthorized biopic will also take on her 2007 meltdown.
Bassett said that the role gave her “a lot more empathy” for the Grammy winner, who had to go through her personal struggles in the spotlight. “I mean, she’s not like anybody else. Her entire life, she’s been chased by paparazzi and she’s constantly being scrutinized and in the public eye, so it’s not normal,” she said. “I really appreciated how strong she is. Emotionally, the way she got through the constant pressures that she was faced with is admirable.”
Spears hasn’t given her stamp of approval to the made-for-TV flick. Her rep previously told Us Weekly that she “will not be contributing in any way, shape or form to the Lifetime biopic, nor does it have her blessing.”
Britney Ever After premieres on Lifetime on Saturday, February 18.