In “In Time”, the new science-fiction thriller from “Gattaca” helmer Andrew Niccol, popstar cum actor Justin Timberlake (“The Social Network”, “Friends With Benefits”) plays Will, a slum kid fighting for more life and working to buy himself more time, in a future where being allowed to remain young is a reward. Just when his time is about to run out, Will receives the gift of unmitigated time and more time with his youthful mug from a mysterious elderly stranger.
At the film’s L.A Press day, Timberlake expressed an interest in, well, saving the world, with Moviehole’s Hyla.
Justin, you’re somebody who’s done a lot with your life from a very young age all the way through now, have a very great career and the movie one of the main things was you can do a lot in a day. So because you’ve done so much with your life at such a young age. What would you do if all you have left was tomorrow? Well, how would you spend that one day?
I will pay you later? I… It’s sounds cliché but I would spend it with, you know, people that I love, people in my family and I probably try to assess if I had twenty four hours…
You’d come to the junket?
Yeah. I’d come to the junket and talk to you guys. I could probably squeeze like a three hour round in if I play golf by myself and then you know that leaves me twenty one hours. So I probably spend the rest of that with the people that I love.
Is there anything you feel, you haven’t done yet that you might want to get in that day?
I’d like to… I’d like to occupy Pasadena. [laughter] We can work on that. I think that it’s all… The things that you look on are your most proud of always at least for me or you know that you were so desperate to do what it was that you were doing that you had that much conviction. And I relate that to this film. I’m really proud of this film. I think it’s obvious to say… It’s serendipitous that, like you pointed out, this sort of social stance that’s happening right now, Occupy Wall Street and Occupy LA and things like that. But I saw this movie as a very beautiful story. In the midst of a really other-worldly macro concept, I just saw this movie as… There were some really simple themes to this guy. And I just saw him as an everyday man who gets pushed too far and decides he’s not going to take it anymore. And I was really excited to work with this cast. Obviously, Andrew, I’m a huge fan of his previous outings. And so, yeah, I would relate it to something like this. You could be really, really proud of the final piece of work.
How much fun was it to be the action guy and almost like a James Bond type of guy, especially in that poker game. How much fun was that for you as an actor to dive in and do that kind of stuff?
On top of being a really rich story, filled with lots of things, I got to live out a lot of boyhood fantasies in this movie; shooting guns and getting the limo stunt drive. When you’re a little kid, you obviously… You see those types of scenes in movies, and you never picture yourself as the guy who loses the poker match. So, yeah… So, yeah… No, all of that stuff is… You read it and you’re like, “This is going to be a lot of fun.” On top of being a really smart, intellectual thriller, we’re going to have a lot of fun. It’s going to be… The script really read like it plays. It was intense for me when I read the script. And I remember, for three days after, I just… I couldn’t stop thinking about the themes, but also the fact that it was relentless in its pace. And so, yeah, the movie was a lot of fun.
I was just wondering at any point for any of you, were you ever concern that this might not translate? Were there any challenges with sort of translating it, making it relatable to the audience?
Do you mean just the fact that we have like digital clocks on our arms and…
And it’s the future, and… [laughter] You mean, like that? [laughter] Because it’s just a movie, [laughter] at the end of the day.
I mean, did you have to change anything in the process thinking that actually was too complicated?
No, we didn’t try to dumb it down in any way.
Dumb it down for the Americans..
Honestly, I think the only answer that I can give is that when we actually dig into the scenes, some of the dialogues, the way it was written so that you could understand it a lot more easily. There were some scenes that I remember Amanda and I would go to Andrew and say, “We live in this world and this world seems like everyday for us.” So… If there was anything, I feel like we would take lines out because it’s always nicer I think when you can play out a scene, and it can read without dialogues. It’s always a beautiful thing too.
You mentioned being at the Emmys last night. It’s always a delicate balance for celebrities about wearing too many hats at one time, the cause hat and the artist hat. I wanted to ask you about your comfort level in being around that particular cause, environmental cause, last night and that there’s an environmental super hero underneath that jacket.
How so? No, I mean, how so to the first part of your statement. How is being an artist and being behind causes a conflict, how is that…
Sometimes, it can be a delicate balance for an artist because they don’t want it to come up. They want to pursue their art and they don’t want to come on so much as trying to change the hearts and minds of people that follow them. So they do one for them, one for me, one for them, one for me, realizing that you know, it’s a long journey and I can’t make this, what I’m passionate about, I’ll do it in my next project.
I think that’s with each generation comes as if there’s more opportunity. At least, that’s the way that I see it. And I think that I grew up in a generation… I watched the birth of the internet and, you know, we all have and I feel like I look around at the generation younger than me and it’s a very opportunistic mantra. It’s a very opportunistic way of thinking and I think that I look at… Made a film about the sort of the raging of social media and what I remember feeling about that was that the common theme about researching all those characters for that film was that they all saw themselves in any way that they wanted to and it wasn’t just one way. It’s actually quite entrepreneurial the way they saw themselves and, I don’t know, I think that when you talk about something like the environment, that to me, just seems so obvious. So I don’t know that I could… While I see the way you relate them, I don’t think that I relate them that way. And I think that saving the environment just seems obvious to me. [chuckle] It seems like something we all should be doing. So if I have a platform, however big or small it may be, if it would inspire one person then that’s all I feel… Like I said before, we want to be inspired sort of have the opportunity to inspire the people. That’s more I think the way that I’d look at something like that.
Do you have a particular cause that you’re invested in?
As far as the environment? Well the…
In any giving back?
Philanthropic? Well, I do… Interestingly enough, they’re both, they’re related to golf, but I mean, I do a PGA tournament that’s for the Shriner’s Hospital for Children, which is free health care for people under the age of 18, if any of them have a condition that they can treat, which I think is sort of another hot topic-healthcare. But, what I was there for last night was a gold course that me and my family bought and turned into an actual eco-friendly wildlife sanctuary, sort of indigenous to itself. So there’s lots of different causes.
So what’s the name of that, so I can…
The golf course?