The Newlywed star talks about taking over the small screen with Jessica

Updated April 27, 2004 09:00 AM

MTV’s favorite Newlyweds, Nick Lachey and Jessica Simpson, seem to be everywhere on TV these days – so much that even they can’t keep track of their appearances. (When asked if he saw himself on the Apprentice finale, Lachey, 30, replied, “Oh, was I? I’ve never seen it.”)

And Nick and Jessica, 23, will be seen plenty more in the coming months: In addition to their ABC variety show – which is expected to return for the holidays – both stars are working on TV pilots, and Nick is getting a warm-up with a guest appearance on ABC’s Tuesday comedy I’m with Her.

Lachey recently talked to PEOPLE about juggling all the work – and taking time out for a little golf.

So did you just get back from vacation?
Yeah, we did. We just got back from Scottsdale. We actually just had friends who were going down there and went down to meet them to relax for a few days, play a little golf.

How did the golfing go?
Ehhhh, not good. I’m not a good golfer.

Well, Tiger hasn’t been doing very well, either, so you’re in good company.
Well, bad for him is extremely good.

You play a vain guy on I’m with Her. Was that a stretch?
Well, I hope for my sake it’s a stretch. I don’t want people to think I’m a vain, cocky Hollywood idiot like this guy’s supposed to be.

Did you model yourself after anyone when you were doing the scenes?
No, nobody in particular. I just tried to be full of myself and kind of an idiot and have fun with it.

Is there a particular actor or comedian that you’d like to model your acting career after?
Well, I’ve said this before, I’ve always been a big fan of Bruce Willis. His starting on Moonlighting, his mastery of that comedy, and the way he’s been able to move on to other things. I just think he’s had a great career and he’s a good career model. So, you and Jessica both have TV pilots you’re working on?
Yeah, we both did pilots. So it’s pretty exciting. Mine is a pilot with Gina Gershon (called Hot Mama.) I’m very much looking forward to that.

Gina Gershon has been pursuing a music career. Would you give her any advice?
No! I don’t think she needs any. She just had this documentary come out about her band and stuff, so apparently she’s doing really well with it.

How do you and Jessica have time for a life with all the stuff going on these days? Is it crazy?
It’s crazy for sure, but there’s bad crazy and good crazy, and this is definitely in the good crazy mode. I think we’re definitely smart enough to realize that you work as hard as you can when you can, and there’s always time to rest later. We both just feel fortunate that we are in a position to be successful and do what we like to do.

You’ve also had plenty of tabloid coverage. What’s the craziest rumor you’ve heard about yourself so far?
The only crazy rumor I heard – which again is very laughable – is that I left a $14 tip on a $1,400 bill at the Ivy. I’ve never spent $1,400 at the Ivy in my life. It’s just a complete fabrication, but I guess they’ve gotta write something, and they’ll make it up if they have to.