NeNe Leakes has landed the role of the wicked stepmother in Douglas Carter Beane’s adaptation of the Broadway production, Cinderella, and will be taking over for Sherri Shepherd, beginning on Thanksgiving. But far from just a one-time gig, RadarOnline.com has learned the reality star is hoping to make it her next act -- so she can distance herself from the Real Housewives of Atlanta. According to one source, she is only doing the upcoming season for the hefty paycheck!
A source told RadarOnline.com exclusively, "NeNe will be taking over in the Cinderella production around Thanksgiving, and will play it until New Year's Eve. She is super excited to be playing the iconic role, and knows her fans will show up in droves.
"This is another attempt by NeNe to continue to develop her brand beyond the RHOA,” the source continued. “The only reason NeNe came back was for the hefty paycheck." As Radar has reported, her six-figure salary will make her the highest-paid Bravo star ever.
Radar broke the story that both Shepherd and Leakes tried out to play Cinderella's wicked stepmother. But producers were so impressed with both, "They didn't want to choose one over the other, and didn't have to! Neither Sherri nor NeNe had a problem with that, and the timing worked out that Sherri would play her first."
“NeNe is getting ready for rehearsals, and has even asked Sherri for tips,” the source added.
The new season of the Real Housewives of Atlanta hits TV screens next month and it’s back with a vengeance.
Allegations that Phaedra Parks is cheating on jailbird hubby, Apollo, with a man named, Chocolate, are "just more reason that NeNe will continue to distance herself from the show. It's just not what she wants to be about anymore.”
But Leakes might not be leaving the small screen for good, as the source told Radar that the reality star has a penchant for entertaining.
“There is talk that NeNe could be moving to Los Angeles or New York City to pursue a career in acting, which is her real passion," the source added.