Per­fect tim­ing

This former Mouseke­teer and boy- band mem­ber has fi­nally taken the leap into an ac­tion-man role, writes Jonathon Mo­ran

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Front Page -

DON’T cross Justin Tim­ber­lake – the mul­ti­tal­ented star is ac­tu­ally a crack shot, thanks to 20 years of ex­pe­ri­ence in fir­ing guns.

It’s a strange hobby for a former boy- band mem­ber but one Tim­ber­lake ad­mits he en­joys do­ing in his down­time from mak­ing movies and mu­sic and play­ing golf.

‘‘ I’ve al­ways been a pretty good shot,’’ Tim­ber­lake ( pic­tured) says.

‘‘ You have half a day’s work so I’m like, ‘ What do I do? Oh, I think I’ll go to the gun range and just shoot be­cause that’s part of my job’.’’

The 30- year- old was given his first .22 ri­fle at the age of 10 by his grand­fa­ther and his shoot­ing prow­ess was put to good use on the set of his lat­est film, In Time.

In the big- bud­get crime thriller the mul­ti­tal­ented per­former stars along­side Amanda Seyfried in a story rem­i­nis­cent of a fu­tur­is­tic Bon­nie & Clyde.

‘‘ It was def­i­nitely a lot of fun mak­ing this movie,’’ he says on the phone from Los An­ge­les, mid- af­ter­noon his time.

Still bet­ter known for be­ing one of the world’s big­gest pop stars, In Time is Tim­ber­lake’s first real lead ac­tion role and his third film this year, fol­low­ing block­buster ro­man­tic come­dies Friends With Ben­e­fits and Bad Teacher.

The film tells the story of Will Salas ( Tim­ber­lake), who lives in a world where peo­ple stop age­ing at 25.

Time is the currency put in place to avoid over­pop­u­la­tion and means the rich live for cen­turies while the poor spend their days strug­gling to sur­vive.

Salas, one of the many poor, finds him­self on the run from the cor­rupt au­thor­i­ties.

‘‘ In re­ally zon­ing in on the char­ac­ter, I think I just saw a sim­ple ev­ery­day or­di­nary guy who gets sort of thrown into this ex­tra­or­di­nary sit­u­a­tion be­cause he is just pushed too far and he fights back,’’ Tim­ber­lake says.

‘‘ I think in the same way that I watched he­roes when I was a kid and re­lated to them in that way, I felt like it was some­thing that peo­ple could re­late to and that I re­lated to. Even if I wouldn’t have worked on this film, I would have been very ex­cited to see it.’’

In Time is an­other ex­cit­ing project from Gat­taca’s An­drew Nic­col, tap­ping into the global is­sue of be­ing time poor.

It also stars Cil­lian Mur­phy, Olivia Wilde, Alex Pet­tyfer and Aus­tralian up- and- comer Bella Heath­coate.

‘‘ When I first read the script, for three days straight I just felt like I couldn’t stop think­ing about it,’’ he says.

‘‘ What An­drew [ Nic­col] is so fa­mous for is his metaphor­i­cal way of turn­ing the mir­ror on to us us­ing these fan­tas­ti­cal con­cepts, so that was tak­ing up all my time and I couldn’t stop think­ing about it.’’

Tim­ber­lake man­ages six to seven hours sleep a night but would dearly love one more hour, as many of us would.

‘‘ I’d sleep a lit­tle more prob­a­bly,’’ he says. ‘‘ I’d work in some time to go to the range and hit some golf balls I guess. I’d prob­a­bly just sleep in more. If I can get eight [ hours], I feel much bet­ter. It’s funny how that ex­tra hour can do the trick.’’

As well as the story, the stunts also at­tracted Tim­ber­lake to the film.

That said, Tim­ber­lake is a re­al­ist and ad­mits he’ll never be an ac­tion hero of the Sylvester Stal­lone or Bruce Wil­lis va­ri­ety.

‘‘ I will never be able to play an ac­tion hero of the stereo­typ­i­cal sense and what I liked about Will is that he was an anti- hero re­ally,’’ he says.

‘‘ He just wanted to live his life. The ev­ery­day man as­pect of him was what I was more at­tracted to be­cause I don’t think I’ve got­ten to play that part yet.’’

With a laugh, he adds: ‘‘ But shoot­ing guns and driv­ing fast cars and kick­ing arse is def­i­nitely fun too.’’

To pre­pare for In Time, Tim­ber­lake ad­justed his train­ing sched­ule. In­stead of weights, he con­cen­trated on car­dio. ‘‘ I run a lot in this film,’’ he says. ‘‘ I didn’t want Will to be a mus­cle- bound hero, so to speak. I wanted him to be crafty more than any­thing, so I ran a lot more and worked sprints into my daily rou­tine.’’

There’s no doubt Tim­ber­lake is a busy man. As well as this year’s three films, there’s also talk the former ’ N Sync boy- band singer will re­lease a new solo al­bum in 2012. It’s been five years since he re­leased

Fu­ture Sex/ Love Sounds.

De­spite his suc­cess mu­si­cally and as an ac­tor, Tim­ber­lake ad­mits some in the in­dus­try still ex­pect him to prove him­self.

‘‘ I def­i­nitely sense it and I feel that it’s out there but it wouldn’t be the first time that some­one told me they thought I needed to prove my­self be­cause I was try­ing some­thing dif­fer­ent,’’ he says.

‘‘ I went solo with my mu­sic and it’s not dis­sim­i­lar to that. I try not to put any added pres­sure on my­self. I just want to do good work and con­tinue to be in­spired.’’

Hav­ing had such a busy year on the act­ing front, Tim­ber­lake re­veals he will take a break over the com­ing months.

‘‘ I’m go­ing to take some time off and en­joy some me time,’’ says Tim­ber­lake, who is ru­moured to be again dat­ing on- off girl­friend Jes­sica Biel.

‘‘ To be hon­est, my next sea­son, the win­ter sea­son for me, is very re­laxed. That’s all I have on my sched­ule,’’ he says.

Per­haps we’ll see Tim­ber­lake in Aus­tralia. His last visit was in Oc­to­ber 2007. ‘‘ I had a blast,’’ he says. ‘‘ I do love the Aussie en­ergy, it’s kind of one of a kind, so I’d like to get back out there soon.’’

SCREEN STAR: ( Clock­wise from top left) Justin Tim­ber­lake with Cameron Diaz in Bad Teacher; with Britney Spears in

2001 and run­ning with Amanda Seyfried in

In Time.

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