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Justin Timberlake is the guy who virtually every girl wants and virtually every guy wants to be — he’s smart, he’s sexy, he’s charming, he’s funny, and, most impressively, he’s super-talented at a wide variety of things. Timberlake is a six-time Grammy-winning singer (you first heard him as the lead singer of the immensely popular ’90s boy band ’N Sync and subsequently as a charts-topping solo artist); a two-time Emmy-winning TV comedian (both for unforgettable guest appearances on “Saturday Night Live”); and, in January, might well add yet another impressive credential to that resume: Academy Award-nominated actor.
Timberlake has given standout performances in a number of films in the past — among them “Alpha Dog” (2006), “Black Snake Moan” (2006), and “Southland Tales” (2006) — but he has earned the best reviews of his career, by far, for his performance in this year’s “The Social Network” as Sean Parker, a young Web entrepreneur who founded Napster and subsequently helped Mark Zuckerberg turn Facebook into a worldwide phenomenon. The David Fincher film has been a critics’ darling (it’s at 97% on Rotten Tomatoes and recently topped the annual Sight & Sound poll); a commerical success (it cost roughly $40 million to make and has grossed over $90 million, thus far); and it is shaping up to be a strong Oscar contender in a large number of categories (based on Academy members’ reactions at its first official screening, as well as substantial anecdotal evidence gathered by this awards site and others). Although three members of its cast — Andrew Garfield, Armie Hammer, and Timberlake — are all vying for slots in the best supporting actor category, I believe that it’s highly possible, if not probable, that two will get in, and that he will be one of them.
I first met Timberlake at the Harvard Club after-party that followed the world premiere of “The Social Network” back on September 24. We chatted only briefly at the time, but subsequently scheduled a telephone interview for November 24 that was supposed to last for 20 minutes, but wound up running for 45 minutes thanks to his insistence providing carefully-considered and thorough answers to my questions about every facet of his life, career(s), and especially the film that has changed the way that he looks at film — and that we look at him.
I hope that you’ll check out the audio of our conversation (click here) — in my humble opinion, it only gets more interesting as it goes along — and/or check out a summary of our discussion (click below).
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