A prominent brown beard surrounds Justin’s face. Gone are the round earrings dangling from his ears. In their place, a subtle pair of sunglasses rest on his nose. He also dons a black hat and an impeccable blue suit.
At first glance he is an icon of New York elegance. Calm, Timberlake speaks wrapped in an aura of tranquility that distinguishes those who are in the right track and that all they have to do is to keep walking.
With 31 years under his belt Justin is engaged to Jessica Biel and seems to have already achieved the synthesis of all his metamorphoses, without even planning it.
“I have a plan for my life, but as far as my career, I think I worked very hard from an early age, and I feel I’ve earned the opportunity to choose now what feels right to me”, he says during an exclusive interview with the NRL.
There are almost no traces of left of his squeaky voice and blonde curls that drove teenage girls crazy during the Nsync era. That teeny pop star has transformed now into an actor, an entrepreneur and a golf lover. He also enjoys family time and neglects technology by enjoying the paper version of The New York Times. With every answer he gives, you can feel he is equally passionate about the breakfast his grandma prepares and his work with Clint Eastwood.
Whether as an actor, singer, entrepreneur or advertising model, Timberlake believes he earned the right to choose. “I believe I did the job,” he says as he tries to explain the reason behind who he is now. He is very involved in the resurrection of MySpace, even though he doesn’t reveal further details to us. Timberlake seems familiar with this universe; interesting enough, he portrayed Sean Parker on The Social Network, the cofounder of Napster and one of the key persons in the creation of Facebook.
The conversation with Timberlake occurs in a living room surrounded by windows in the penthouse of a hotel on the east side of Manhattan. The excuse is the presentation of the new Play fragrance of perfume, Givenchy, which has him as the advertising face.
He speaks more as an actor than a singer, but shows an unbreakable bond with music, always considering the possibility of doing a new album.
“I’ve only made two albums in the last ten years. Nobody cares about that more than me, so I do not hurry, I take my time. I’m having a great experience working in films. I’ve always wanted to do it, and .. . yes, the dream is being able to do both, “he says.
Films are now what captures his attention. He worked with the Cohen brothers on Inside Llewyn Davis (scheduled for next year) and is now working under the guidance of Clint Eastwood in his next film Trouble with the Curve.
How do you expect your work with Clint Eastwood to come along ?
He is a legend. I’m not sure what I’m going to do in the first take. We have a couple of scenes together and I have no idea what I’ll do. I’ll probably just keep staring at him. I’ve met Clint before and he is a very nice person. I feel I’m in good hands. It’s a very fun role for me. Hopefully we will have a lot of fun.
Do you feel more intimidated or encouraged?
Excited. Let’s see, it’s Clint Eastwood. I believe everyone would feel naturally nervous or intimidated.
Timberlake divides his life between New York and Los Angeles. But it is in the Big Apple where he feels most comfortable. Here, where there are many artists, he feels part of a community, and feels more creative than elsewhere.
“I’m something like a digital inept”, he confesses and explains he still reads The New York times on paper. “I don’t check many websites. Before subscribing to the New York Times I checked it on the web, but I now get it on my door and I still like the feel of the paper”.
Many young artists that are new to this business get sidetracked. How did you manage to keep your life together?
“I think I care about what I do. I always did. I’m not talking about someone else. Anyone can go through difficult time. It’s unfortunate. Personally, and I’m not saying this as a reflection on anyone else or what someone else might be missing, I have very good parents, the things that are important to me are my family and my career. I don´t know, I just love what I do”
Golf is his greatest passion.
Justin Timberlake takes a few seconds before answering the question, perhaps to revive in his mind the hundreds of holes he has walked in his life, and then delivers his verdict: the golf course in Augusta, Georgia. That is the best golf course where he played in his life.
“It’s holy ground” He says.
Golf is one of the greatest passions of Timberlake. When travelling, he tells us, he does it with the intention of doing something, and one of his favorite recreations in walking with the clubs or snowboarding. But golf comes first, there’s no doubt about that. Years ago, the actor purchased the Big Creek golf course near his hometown of Millington, near Memphis, Tennessee, which reopened under the name Mirimichi, an indigenous term meaning a place of happy retirement, he explains.
“It was definitely an emotional purchase. It was probably going to becoming a bunch of buildings. There were many reasons why we bought it, but I felt it was good for the community. Memphis does not have much, so all you can do for that city, I do “, he explains.
A version of himself
Four years ago, Givenchy approached Justin Timberlake to propose him to be the face of a new perfume Play. As with Liv Tyler, the female face of the French brand, the link has prospered and now has given birth to a second fragrance, Play Sport. The French brand did something else: Timberlake now wears perfume again.
“It’s funny because when we talked about making a fragrance I wasn’t even using one. I didn’t even have one in my bathroom, so it was a good test for them” He reveals.
Even when talking about the fragrance, something he has to do, Timberlake takes the trouble to accompany the promotion with an idea, he likes the perfume because it is fresh, clean and simple, yet sophisticated . “I do not like anything that smells too much of something. I don´t want to go somewhere and someone to tell what I’m wearing. I think that’s what I like the most about the perfume”
The perfume campaign is tied to the outdoors, with the idea of giving a sense of freedom, speed and adrenaline, according to the brand. One of the ads show Timberlake driving an old convertible under a blue sky. “I like it because it’s not just me holding the bottle. It is a version of me. I think people are more complex than a picture, and I think the image conveys the brand,” said Timberlake.
The artist pondered the perfume because it is not intrusive. Short, without redefining. In contrast, he recalled that when he was in high school everyone smelled the same, and other scents instantly made him have a headache.