Thursday, January 27, 2011

My Justin Timberlake interview


The naughty, funny side of Justin
By Raymond de Asis Lo, L.A. Correspondent (The Philippine Star) Updated January 28, 2011 12:00 AM Comments (0) View comments


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Justin Timberlake stars as Boo Boo Bear in Warner Bros.’ adaptation of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon classic Yogi Bear. Below: With Dan Aykroyd who voices Yogi (bottom right)| Zoom
LOS ANGELES, CA — Parents, don’t let your kids listen to Justin Timberlake’s music if they are below 10 or 12.

It was music superstar Justin Timberlake himself who half-jokingly sent this plea after he shared a funny anecdote of his encounters with several parents who approached him and told him how much their daughters adored him.

“In recent years, after my last album came out in 2006,” he recounted, “I’ve had parents come up to me and say, ‘My kids listen to your music. My daughter really loves Sexy Back!’ And I say, Oh, great! How old is your daughter? And I was expecting they will say, like, they went to NYU or something but instead they say, ‘Oh, she’s nine.’ And I felt really bad as a person. I thought that was very irresponsible of that parent — my music is explicit!”

But those encounters are not the reason why he has not released another album since then. The singer has been busy with other stuff besides singing and touring. He’s been busy making movies.

He has made eight movies in four years, including his critically-acclaimed turn as the notorious Sean Parker, the millionaire founder of the music-sharing website Napster, in the Oscar-nominated film The Social Network.

The Grammy-winning performer may not be singing a lot these days but that doesn’t mean he has completely ignored his fans, particularly those young girls who like listening to his sexy voice. He stars as Boo Boo Bear in the cute Warner Bros. adaptation of the Hanna-Barbera cartoon classic Yogi Bear.

In Yogi Bear , Justin voices the part of Boo Boo while veteran comic Dan Aykroyd provides the voice of Yogi. Yogi and Boo Boo are two gregarious brown bears who enjoy stealing picnic baskets from visitors of Jellystone Park, to the great dismay of their friendly nemesis, park ranger Smith. The park is losing visitors each year and when the town mayor decides to sell the park, Yogi, Boo Boo and ranger Smith realize they must work together to save it and preserve their home. But can they do it when all Yogi wants is to steal picnic baskets?

This live-action 3D movie offers all the excitement and adventure every kid who grew up with Yogi and Boo Boo expect. But beyond all the fun of seeing Yogi and Boo Boo set up ridiculous traps to steal picnic baskets, there is a wonderful message on how, individually, we can help preserve our environment and cultivate a harmonious relationship with nature. And this relevant theme is what attracted Justin to do the movie.

“I think Yogi and Boo Boo are iconic characters and I grew up with them,” Justin said. “I grew up behind a state park and my parents influenced upon me the importance of nature and our surroundings and I thought this was a cool message.”

The star was in crutches and was limping when he met with the international press one morning in the early part of December last year during the junket of this movie. He suffered a calf injury while performing a stunt for another movie he was making.

“I grew up with that mindset. The more we find out about the age of technology, the more it makes us aware that there are other things in the world we have to offset that with. I think it’s a great message for kids that there are things out there beyond the 14 inches you are sitting too close to your laptops.”

The actor, though visibly hurt, was in jovial mood that morning. Even if he had to be interrupted three times by what turned out to be false fire alarms that went off inside the Beverly Hilton, he remained his affable self and continued being funny and sometimes naughty during the interview.

Asked by a lady journalist if he shares any similarities with his character, Justin responded, “Well, I like to wear bow ties. I like the color blue, and I am also furry in places,” before catching himself and saying, “I’m sorry.”

He added, “What was so fun to play this character was Dan and I came and we recorded together.”

Justin provided his voice in the third Shrek movie so the experience was no longer new to him.

“A lot of times, when you are doing an animated movie, you just come by yourself and you say a bunch of lines a thousand different ways and they use what they think is best for the movie.”

“But having the opportunity to work with Dan at the same time we were standing across, looking at each other and saying these lines, it felt almost like we were workshopping the characters a lot. Yogi and Boo Boo are really a duo and we wanted to build on the chemistry of that. If Yogi was larger than life, boisterous and hilarious, we felt it will be funny to make Boo Boo very dry and stone-faced in his approach to always reminding Yogi of his absurdity.”

“So I would say maybe the dryness, I guess, would be something that we have in common and also I didn’t hit my growth spurt until late in my life so I was short for a large portion of it.”

And no sooner after he said that the first of the three false fire alarms sounded off. And we had nearly five minutes of mindless but fun conversation after that. Ana Faris, who is co-starring with Justin and Dan, suggested at one point that we all head to the bar until the fire is put out.

(Yogi Bear is currently showing in theaters nationwide.)

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