Ellie Kemper has closed a deal to play the lead in the NBC single-camera pilot Brenda Forever. In the high-concept project written by Andrew Leeds and David Lampson and produced by Sony TV, stories from Brenda Miller’s (Kemper) past and present are interwoven to give a unique portrait of how a chubby, awkward, but incredibly confident 13-year-old grew up to be a 31-year-old woman who still marches to the beat of her own drum. Kemper, who is close friends with Leeds and Lampson, had been circling the project since it sold as a spec last week. She has been among the most sought-after comedy actresses this pilot season. David Wain (Role Models, Wonderlust) is directing the pilot, executive produced by Lampson, Leeds, Matt Tarses and Fedora Entertainment’s Peter Tolan and Michael Wimer. Kemper is with WME and Mosaic.