Justin Timberlake has a romantic comedy to promote, which means that Justin Timberlake is suddenly everywhere. When he’s not groping Mila Kunis on television, he’s giving interviews all over the place. One such interview hit the web today, and you know what — it’s pretty epic and refreshingly honest, filled with candor about the sometimes evil monster the web can be and why he chooses to smoke weed, among other things.
Yes, in an extensive Q&A with Playboy, Timberlake talks about all of these things — here he is on how unforgiving the Internet can be on the famous (former flame Britney Spears specifically).
PLAYBOY: The public is not very kind to the aging pop star. Have you seen the dance-off video going around the internet between Old Britney and New Britney? It shows performances from her early days intercut with performances now. It’s not pretty.
TIMBERLAKE: The internet is a cruel place. What a fucked-up thing to do.
PLAYBOY: She’s had a pretty rough time the past few years.
TIMBERLAKE: I don’t have too much to say about her situation. I can’t remember the last conversation I had with her. But this thing that happens online bothers me—these anonymous commenters. People think they can say anything and it doesn’t matter to people. I’d love to see the people who comment about Britney online say those things to her face, because they couldn’t. Also, in Britney’s defense, if you pulled up a video I did from 2003, I couldn’t do the shit I did then either.
Oh those dastardly Internet commenters! God I’m so glad I’m not famous. Anyway, here’s Timberlake talking about about how the web has changed the entertainment business forever.
PLAYBOY: How would your career be different if you were starting out now? The entertainment industry has gone through so many changes. Do you think about that?
TIMBERLAKE: I don’t think too much about how my career would be different, but things have definitely changed. Certainly in the music business they have. I started when people were buying CDs. I watched the whole thing transform. I talk about that with my friends a lot. It’s such a completely different industry now.
PLAYBOY: If you’re a performer today, you don’t need the studios. You can get your music or movies or comedy out there on YouTube and make things happen yourself.
TIMBERLAKE: Well, the hardest part for any young performer is to develop what you have. So yeah, with a great video, you can be seen by a couple of million people on YouTube. But if your iron strikes really hot, really fast and you’re not ready for it, then you’re basically fucked. From the public’s standpoint, it’s great. You get to see all this untapped talent. But in a way, I think we’re still in the car-crash phase of this whole sensation. People like to watch weird shit on YouTube. They like to see car crashes. It’s the same way with music. Some of the stuff that comes up is car-crash music, if you know what I mean. There’s not as much legitimate talent because a lot of it is driven by this need to get stuff out there quickly. You gain wisdom about yourself and what you feel comfortable putting out only by developing slowly.
PLAYBOY: Justin Bieber seems to have done okay for a guy who started off as a musical car crash, so to speak.
TIMBERLAKE: Justin’s great. He’s obviously a talented kid. I just hope he has a good support system, because I think back on myself wearing the cornrows. It’s awkward growing up in front of the public. Justin’s probably dealing with that on some level now. Somebody like Usher mentoring him is great because Usher is somebody who’s had a lot of ups and not a down that I can remember. He’ll teach him that you can’t just ride this out. You need to have somewhere to go. You need to have a plan, and somebody like Justin Bieber should be thinking about that right now. Otherwise, before you know it, there’s going to be some kid who’s younger than you. We just live in that age.
The part of the interview that I’m sure made his publicist cringe the most was when he was asked about his love of marijuana. Middle America might not be so happy with this, Justin!
PLAYBOY: You’ve talked openly about using drugs, smoking marijuana. Are you still a pot smoker?
PLAYBOY: Is it a creativity booster? I read you were stoned for much of the time you made Justified.
TIMBERLAKE: The only thing pot does for me is it gets me to stop thinking. Sometimes I have a brain that needs to be turned off. Some people are just better high.
PLAYBOY: You put MTV’s Punk’d on the map. In the first episode Ashton Kutcher’s team pretended to be government agents seizing all your property, including your dog, because of unpaid income taxes. You nearly cried and ended up calling your mom. Is it true you were stoned at the time?
TIMBERLAKE: Yeah. I actually stopped smoking pot for nine to 10 months after that. I was so stoned. If you ask my friends, if they’re honest they would probably say that’s the only way to get me as dizzy as I was. What you didn’t see from the episode, because it was a 45-minute affair cut down to 10 minutes, was me showing up and being like, “What the fuck are you people doing on my property? Get the fuck off my property! Get the fuck out of here!” Then they started rattling off my parents’ address, and I was like, “Holy shit. Hold on a second.” I mean, everybody was got good on that show—me probably the best.
So there you have it — Justin Timberlake likes to smoke some weed to turn his brain off. I can relate to that, though for me a long bath in the dark while listening to music does the trick. Or a long walk. Either one. Regardless, JT has a message for all the haters out there…
Well said, dude. Well said. Do yourself a favor and go read the full Playboy interview. It’s great.
(JT gifs via Gifsoup)
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