Justin’s Friends With Benefits Philosophy
Justin Timberlake on Friends with Benefits: ‘It Either Leads to Something or Fizzles Out’
Mary Margaret | Parade Magazine
July 15, 2011
Justin Timberlake’s recent forays into acting has the musician showing a lot of skin and showing off his famous abs, but he’s also been exhibiting a lesser known tool in his artillery: his funny bone.
In Friends With Benefits, Timberlake, 30, starts alongside Mila Kunis as two friends who decide to enjoy all the physical perks of a romantic relationship together without the emotional attachments.
During a recent press conference, he discussed the inspiration behind the film, why it’s not simply a “romantic comedy,” and whether or not movie stardom was his plan all along.
How did you keep the comedy going during those sometimes awkward love scenes?
“When you have situational humor, it’s much more real. So you have these characters who have an agreement to have sex without emotion so you don’t have to worry about each other’s feelings. You can be bluntly honest in the act and we thought that was funny. You never get a request like, ‘Hey, we want you to make these sex scene as awkward as you can.’ So a lot of that came from the dialogue and workshopping. It was about finding a way to comment on what was happening between them because that’s what makes these characters so affable and charming- that they are so self-effacing. So why not continue to do that and just be consistent even during the bedroom scenes?”
Do you think the concept of friends with benefits works in real life?
“I think, and Mila agrees, that it’s not a long-term idea and there is no way to make it long-term. It either leads to something more or fizzles out.”
What was the inspiration behind the film?
“We hope the laughter in this movie comes from a place of relating to how ridiculous life can be. I think that’s what people loved about When Harry Met Sally, which was a movie that was constantly coming up when we were workshopping. What I loved about that movie was that they were equals. They treated each other as equals and talked about their generation and how society- at that point in time- collectively viewed love, sex and relationships. And that was how we viewed this movie. We wanted to make the modern generation’s comedy in that way.”
Was becoming a movie star always part of your career plan?
“As far as headlining a movie, I never have any desire to do anything other than what is inspiring. If that is a supporting role in an interesting story, that’s great. If that’s being able to write songs for Lil’ Wayne, then great. It could be anything. My choices really do come from a place from sincerity and generosity, actually. I don’t really think beyond that because that has served me well.”
The film is pretty raunchy…
“Originally the movie was PG-13. That doesn’t work for me. I don’t want to show the PG-13 version of this movie. I want this to be a real movie with real people going through real situations which cause the humor.”