updated 03/03/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST
•originally published 03/03/2003 AT 01:00 AM EST
A desperate cry for attention? Nah. Spears took the plunge as the newest cast member of Nickelodeon's sketch-comedy show All That. "I see the same drive in her as in Britney," says the show's director Virgil Fabian, who also directed Britney, now 21, on The Mickey Mouse Club in the early '90s. Big sister agrees: "Of course I'm biased, but I definitely think Jamie Lynn has that 'It' quality. She shines, and I'm proud of her."
The youngest child of Jamie, 50, a building contractor, and Lynne, 47, who helps manage her daughters' careers, Jamie Lynn was hired after Nickelodeon execs saw her perform a rap number with her brother Bryan, 25, a merchandising executive, on the VH1 celebrity biography show Driven last year. "Her vocal range is very powerful," says Britney. "I couldn't sing that strong at her age." Since then the sixth grader has been offered movie and record deals, but she has so far turned down Hollywood in favor of her native Kentwood, La., where she plays basketball, cuddles with her Pomeranian Izzy and rides four-wheelers with friends. "I thought she'd have a limo and bodyguards," says All That castmate Lisa Foiles, 16, "but she's totally cool."
Still, when asked about the unmistakable resemblance between her and her famous sister, Jamie Lynn does sound like a star in training. "Honestly and truly," she says, "I think she looks like me."