UPDATE (9/3, 5:30 p.m. EST) In a press conference for his new movie Runner Runner, Justin Timberlake said his recent comments about playing a villian in the upcoming Batman movie with Ben Affleck were “completely misinterpreted.” “I have no desire to play a superhero,” he said. “I could never live up to those types of standards.”
With one of the year’s best-selling albums, two sold-out tours and a critically-acclaimed acting career, it’s never been more clear that it’s JT’s world and we’re all just living in it.
Still riding the high off his Michael Jackson Video Vanguard Award performance, the newly-dubbed President of Pop found a spare moment this morning (August 27) to talk to Los Angeles’ 97.1 AMP Radio (a Radio.com station) about his career-spanning VMA performance.
“I haven’t really performed like that in a while, so I think I was nervous just to see if I could physically make it through it because up until that point, I hadn’t really rehearsed the whole performance full out,” Timberlake admitted. “I was gassed.”
His nearly 16-minute set paid homage to both his past and present, and culminated with a greatly-anticipated *NSYNC reunion, which Timberlake helped organize. He personally reached out to all of his former band mates to put together the short-lived, but unforgettable moment.
“It felt like the 10-year high school reunion,” he said. “I called them up each individually and said, ‘Hey, what do you guys think about this? If we can pull it off?’ And you know, my pitch was, ‘It’s either going to be really good or really funny.'”
“I called Chris [Kirkpatrick] first and he’s like, ‘Yeah, man! Let me know what the other guys say!’ He was in, but…no one wanted to do it if one person was out and I think that speaks to, you know, the relationship that we have and how we think of the time that we did spend together,” Timberlake explained.
The performance, which featured the guys singing a few bars of “Girlfriend” and “Bye Bye Bye,” gave Timberlake a chance to relive his glory days.
“In the back of my mind, there’s always been this thing, ‘I wonder if there’s ever an opportunity just to send up that era and what we were able to accomplish,'” Timberlake said. “Because I think when we were in the middle of it, none of us realized how big we were.”
As for that other infamous VMA performance, JT urged everyone to give Miley Cyrus a break: “Y’all go easy on Miley. Man, you know? She’s declaring her womanhood. Let her do her thing, man!”
Timberlake pointed out the awards show has always been a hotbed of controversy.
“Listen, this was not the GRAMMYs. This was not the Oscars. This is the VMAs,” he said. “This is where Madonna came out in a wedding dress and humped the stage… Britney did the strip tease. This is where you do it! What did you guys expect?”
In fact, Timberlake joked that he’s taking a page out of Miley’s book for the second edition of The 20/20 Experience, which includes his latest single, “Take Back The Night.”
“It’s the fall version of The 20/20 Experience,” he said. “It’s a little darker. It’s got a little more experience. It’s less virginal, if you know what I mean!”
Though we’ll have to wait until September 30 to figure out exactly what he means by that, he’s likely referring to the tracklist that surfaced on Amazon’s pre-order listing of the album, which features both Jay Z and Drake on two separate 20/20 collaborations.
Along with releasing his second album of the year, Timberlake is also embarking on a solo tour to promote both volumes of The 20/20 Experience. The 32-year-old singer recently wrapped up his Legends of the Summer tour with Jay Z and has only good things to say about the rap legend.
“There’s a reason he’s the greatest rapper alive, you know what I mean? He knows what he’s doing and to his credit, he gave me a lot of artistic license to kind of put the setlist together,” he said. “I never thought I’d be on a tour like that, so it’s kind of one of the more special things I think I’ll look back on and say, ‘That was unbelievable.'”
Something else that would be pretty unbelievable is if Timberlake snagged a role in the upcoming Batman film starring Ben Affleck.
“Ben Affleck as Batman, I like it,” Timberlake told New York’s Fresh 102.7 (also a Radio.com station) this morning. “I think he’s a brilliant filmmaker. I think he’s an extreme talent so he could surprise a lot of people.”
Timberlake recently finished shooting the thriller Runner Runner, which also stars Affleck. But would he be interested in playing Batman’s Boy Wonder?
“Not a chance in hell,” Timberlake said. “I ain’t playin’ Robin. I have no aspiration to ever be a superhero in a movie. Now villian. I’ll tell you the villain I want to play more than anything because I grew up loving Batman, funny enough, is the Riddler. The Riddler is my favorite villain.”
“The Riddler was like a sociopath,” Timberlake continued. “He was proper crazy. So if I’m gonna play crazy, I’m wanna play proper crazy.”
Go here to listen to AMP’s full interview with Timberlake.
And listen to Fresh 102.7’s full Timberlake interview here.
-Sarah Carroll, 97.1 AMP Radio/Los Angeles; with additional reporting from Shannon Carlin, Radio.com