Probably making bigger headlines these days than Clint Eastwood’s turn as grouchy baseball scout Gus in Trouble With The Curve, is his surprise performance talking to an empty chair on stage at the recently wrapped up Republican National Convention. Though it may come as a surprise that this is nothing new for the ‘Make my day’ movie vigilante—who happens to talk to his furniture, his toilet bowl and his not unrelated uncooperative kidneys in this movie. But this conversation is not about Clint, rather his decidedly more reticent, yet pretty funny, Trouble With The Curve co-star, Justin Timberlake. As the singer turned movie star talked about the perks of golfing with the veteran screen icon and getting to play the good guy for a change.
1. What’s your game plan when figuring out how to romance on the screen? Um, well I like to…under-promise! No, we had a really great time working together. It’s kind of interesting, because Amy is, well Amy is elite in this craft. So we can start there. But she’s so skilled, and I know she’s talked about playing someone that felt close to her. But I really think she’s so amazing at you know, really finding so much of herself in every character that she embodies. And it just so happened that this character was a lot more serious.
2. What got you excited about playing an aspiring sports broadcaster? I guess I sort of specifically saw Johnny as the only character in the movie who was actually being honest about everything. I mean, you have a character like Gus, who’s going through the trials of aging. And you know, not wanting to be helped. And then you have a character like Amy’s character, who has probably filled her life up with work. So there’s this thing under the chest of trying to fill something that’s missing. And what I thought was sort of great about this character is that, through his humor—hopefully!— that he sort of became this bridge between the two of them. Or, you know, this thread between the two of them. So I don’t know, I actually just saw him as a really good guy. Um, which I don’t think I’ve gotten to play yet!
3. What was it like for you being directed by Clint Eastwood? I don’t know that there’s a descriptive. Yeah, that’s it! I don’t know that there’s a descriptive. But if you would have told me a year before that I was going to get to sit at a bar and drink scotch and trade lines with Mr. Eastwood, I would have laughed at you. And then, I would have probably cried!
4. Wow, how come? Because I would have felt like I would never get that opportunity. But you know, there really just isn’t a descriptive, to be honest with you. And then to watch what Clint does on set. Making this movie was the most familial experience I’ve ever had. And even playing a supporting role. And you know, days with the nature of shooting, you’re in and out. But there was such a constant good feeling any time we were on set.
5. And what was it like golfing with Clint? To have the experience then of playing golf with him, I mean, if you roll with Clint, you can get on Augusta with no problem. So you’re hanging out with the coolest guy in the world! And then just watching him lead by example, and to see someone who’s had such an iconic career, but who continues to be so excited to be there, and who is so supportive of everyone else, and so collaborative, that’s why the movie is great. It’s because of his leading by that example.
6. Is music still in your future? Am I gonna sing in the future? Uh, like when cars are flying in the future? I hope so!
7. Is there anything you’ve got coming out right now? Not anytime soon. But hopefully, yes. I would like to continue to do that. Yes!