CAMERON DIAZ

Cameron Diaz is keen to teach her ex, Justin Tim­ber­lake, a thing or two, write Nathalie Gale and Cindy Pearl­man

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

A risque role for the Hol­ly­wood temptress.

BUMP­ING into a for­mer boyfriend can be a ter­ri­fy­ing ex­pe­ri­ence – but not if you are Cameron Diaz.

The There’s Some­thing About Mary star asked to work with her for­mer flame Justin Tim­ber­lake in her new movie, Bad Teacher.

‘‘ We wanted Justin be­cause he is such a bril­liant co­me­dian. He is such a funny guy. He is very tal­ented and he’s got the south­ern sweet­ness,’’ Diaz says of Tim­ber­lake. The pair ( pic­tured in­set) dated for al­most four years.

In the movie, Diaz ( pic­tured) plays El­iz­a­beth, an al­co­holic high school teacher who has no qualms drop­ping the F-bomb and tries her best to woo a wealthy col­league ( played by Tim­ber­lake).

It’s the sec­ond R-rated fun­ny­woman film to be re­leased in the past few weeks and fol­lows the suc­cess of Brides­maids, a com­edy which has grossed more than $ 150 mil­lion world­wide.

Diaz says the in­crease of women tak­ing on risque roles is re­fresh­ing.

‘‘ It’s great. I mean, it’s nice be­cause usu­ally I’m al­ways ru­in­ing takes be­cause some­how it [ swear words] slips out,’’ she says. ‘‘ And to be able to do a film where they’re like ‘ Could you do that [ swear] a lit­tle bit more?’ I’m like ‘ Re­ally? All right’. So it’s a lot of fun.’’

Be­fore Brides­maids, with its all-fe­male cast, opened in the US, there was much talk about how it would per­form.

Hol­ly­wood stu­dios have been happy to bankroll R-rated come­dies star­ring men.

The Hang­over movie fran­chise, with its new block­buster se­quel that smashed North Amer­i­can box of­fice records, is ex­pected to even­tu­ally make $ 1 bil­lion.

The ques­tion Brides­maids cast and pro­ducer Judd Apa­tow faced was: Are movie au­di­ences ready for a naughty com­edy with a fe­male cast?

‘‘ It’s a lie to think that women are not as gross as men,’’ says Apa­tow, whose mostly male come­dies in­clude The 40-Year-Old Vir­gin, Knocked Up and Su­per­bad. ‘‘ We’re just show­ing it for the first time.’’ For one, Diaz is happy for the chance to show her gross side. But, fear not male fans, there is plenty of the usual flaunt­ing of her bikini body.

For­mer model Diaz be­gan her acting ca­reer as the fe­male lead in The Mask op­po­site Jim Car­rey, She then honed her skills in low-bud­get films such as Feel­ing Min­nesota and She’s the One.

Her next main­stream film was My Best Friend’s Wed­ding, in which she held her own against Ju­lia Roberts. But per­haps her most well-known role was as the goofy lead­ing lady in There’s Some­thing About Mary.

Tim­ber­lake, mean­while, had a very dif­fer­ent climb to fame. He joined the cast of The All-New Mickey Mouse Club in 1993 along with Christina Aguil­era, Ryan Gosling and Brit­ney Spears.

Tim­ber­lake be­came the lead singer of boy band ’ N Sync, rock­et­ing to the top of the charts in the late 1990s. In 2002, af­ter seven years with the band, he aban­doned it for a solo ca­reer.

Last year, he wowed cin­ema au­di­ences with his break-out per­for­mance as Nap­ster founder Sean Parker in The So­cial Net­work.

‘‘ It’s hard to con­vince the world you’re se­ri­ous when you come to the acting world as some­one who is known for get­ting on a stage ev­ery night and rock­ing the house,’’ Tim­ber­lake says. ‘‘ There’s a stigma at­tached to it.’’

The So­cial Net­work pro­pelled Tim­ber­lake to the next level in Hol­ly­wood, putting his name over the ti­tle in two films.

In Bad Teacher, he plays Scott Dela­corte. The idea of do­ing a broad com­edy ap­pealed to Tim­ber­lake.

‘‘ I grew up lov­ing com­edy above all else,’’ he says. ‘‘ SNL [ Satur­day Night Live] was al­ways my thing. I knew I could do Bad Teacher be­cause I learned my comic chops watch­ing this show, plus Lorne Michaels [ SNL pro­ducer] al­lowed me to host the show and rock out.’’

As for his role with Diaz, Tim­ber­lake says it didn’t cause any prob­lems.

‘‘ We’re still friends and know­ing each other was a great way to trust work­ing with each other.’’

His next screen ven­ture is an­other com­edy, Friends with Ben­e­fits, a farce about friends who end up in bed to­gether.

Tim­ber­lake says acting is more col­lab­o­ra­tive than do­ing his own show or mak­ing a CD.

‘‘ I’m the buck on stage – ev­ery­thing stops with me. On a movie, I have to trust what I’m do­ing and toss the ball around with the other ac­tors. It’s a com­pletely dif­fer­ent, ful­fill­ing, col­lab­o­ra­tive, cre­ative ex­pe­ri­ence,’’ he says.

Diaz, too, still loves the thrill of mak­ing movies.

‘‘ It’s some­thing I never take for granted. It’s a gift.’’

BAD TEACHER

Opens Vil­lage Cin­e­mas on Thurs­day

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