GQ Magazine: Why do you think this life happened to you?
Justin Timberlake: Man, I’ve been trying to figure that one out forever. I go through spurts where I’m like thankful for my drive and I’m thankful for my need to achieve things. And also I just feel so lucky. There’s some friends of mine that I know who are amazing musicians that the world has never even heard of. There are just opportunities I’ve had where I didn’t pass them up. You’d feel like you were spitting in the face of some higher power.
GQ Magazine: Lately, you said, a weight has been lifted.
Justin Timberlake: Yeah, for sure.
GQ Magazine: What was that weight?
Justin Timberlake: That first solo album. It was 20 years in the making. That was something that I always wanted to do, that was always the ultimate goal.
GQ Magazine: So there must be some feeling of, Oh now what?
Justin Timberlake: That’s exactly where I’m at.
GQ Magazine: Is that related to any personal relationships you might have?
Justin Timberlake: It has to do with that, yeah definitely. It also has to do with just realizing that the flowers are around, and I should stop and smell them. You know what I mean? I don’t want to just work and work and work and turn around and be 40 and have a ranch with no memories, you know? I mean that figuratively, I don’t mean like an actual ranch. I don’t picture myself sitting on a ranch with a bunch of horses running around, with amnesia.
GQ Magazine: I think Ronald Reagan had a ranch with no memories.
Justin Timberlake: That’s terrible.
GQ Magazine: What phase of your life do you see yourself in now?
Justin Timberlake: This is sort of the unknown for me. I’ll be honest with you. I’m frightened. The battle that I’m having with myself right now is that I know my system, and my brain and my soul, I know that I need some time, just to decompress. I feel how good it felt to be home for a week. It’s gonna help to be in Florida for a while, just to get away from the madness.
GQ Magazine: How long you gonna be there for?
Justin Timberlake: I don’t know. I don’t really have a plan.
GQ Magazine: It’s like the first time in your life you don’t have a plan.
Justin Timberlake: Yeah. And that’s the battle. I know it’s what I need right now, because I’ve just done so much, and I’m not saying I’ve done more than the next man. But for me, I’ve been busy. I just need some time to not do anything.
GQ Magazine: Do you have the same drive that you’ve always had?
Justin Timberlake: I think I’ll always have the same drive, I think that’s what makes me who I am. That’s one of the things that will never change. I just don’t know specifically where I want to direct it right now. It’s like, I know I kind of felt like doing this indie film that I did. And I didn’t expect to be able to do that film, to be an amateur in the ring with heavyweights.
GQ Magazine: And not get knocked out.
Justin Timberlake: That remains to be seen. But the thing is like, if you’re an amateur and the heavyweights say ‘Yeah, I’ll get in there and spar with you,’ do you pass it up? No.
GQ Magazine: What was your part in the movie?
Justin Timberlake: The movie, which is called Edison, is more or less about law enforcement and how corrupt it is. How corrupt it can be. And I play a young writer, a young investigative reporter.
GQ Magazine: Have you had anything in your career that you look back and say, I can’t believe I did that?
Justin Timberlake: Every day! Every day I look back. But you have to take it all and say that’s what was supposed to happen, because I learned from it, and it won’t happen again. Obviously I’ve done some goofy stuff, I’ve worn some stupid clothes, I’ve had some stupid hair. I’ve had some silly moments. That’s small stuff, I don’t care. I don’t look back and go, Oh! I can’t believe I wore the jacket with the…! I don’t care about that.
GQ Magazine: You’ve also experienced having a public relationship. What kind of stress does that put on a relationship?
Justin Timberlake: It depends. You can choose to let it stress you out. You can choose not to.
GQ Magazine: Do you think the press had an influence or effect on your relationship with Britney?
Justin Timberlake: Nope. No.
GQ Magazine: If you were to chronicle your life story is there a role for Britney in it?
Justin Timberlake: Britney? Sure, there’s a role for a lot of women. That’s a tough question. That seems like so long ago. I knew her when I was 12. Like I said, man, I come into every relationship, whether it’s a friendship or a girlfriend, as an individual and I bring what I have to offer. And that’s it. Childhood love I guess is what she is. I didn’t go to high school so it’s the closest thing I had to that sweet sixteen kind of love.
GQ Magazine: Is there any part of you that wishes you went to high school, kind of wonders what the alternate universe Justin would be like?
Justin Timberlake: No. I don’t even think about that. Like I said, everything happens the way it’s supposed to. That is not my normality. What’s happened to me is normal to me. And I don’t say that in an egotistical way, like, there’s something special that was supposed to happen to me.
GQ Magazine: Why do you think so many celebrity relationships end in fucked up ways.
Justin Timberlake: You know, I think a lot of relationships period end in fucked up ways, it’s not just celebrities.
GQ Magazine: When’s your birthday?
Justin Timberlake: January 31st.
GQ Magazine: You’re an Aquarius?
Justin Timberlake: Yep. You an Aquarian?
GQ Magazine: Yep.
Justin Timberlake: We are creative people. We’re good people. We’re people people. That’s what I heard.
GQ Magazine: Who do you consider your close friends?
Justin Timberlake: You know, Trace, my best friend and assistant. Then, my mom. But all through school, I had three or four friends that were my good friends.
GQ Magazine:I heard you’ve been hanging out with that guy from Coldplay.
Justin Timberlake: Chris Martin. Yeah I’ve hung out with him a couple of times. He’s a nice guy.
GQ Magazine: What have you been listening to lately, music-wise?
Justin Timberlake: I DO listen to a lot of Coldplay. Always go back to that. I listen to everything though. A lot of classic rock. Southern rock. Always get a little bit of that in there. Blur. Radiohead.
GQ Magazine: I like Radiohead.
Justin Timberlake: How can you not like Radiohead?
GQ Magazine: You think you’re going to go in that direction a little bit?
Justin Timberlake: I don’t know.
GQ Magazine: Would you ever go back to your Southern roots?
Justin Timberlake: Yeah. I think that’s the direction I’m going to go in next. Maybe a little Southern rock, you know what I mean? Try that on for size.
GQ Magazine: You get a lot of flack for being white and doing quote unquote black music.
Justin Timberlake: Possibly, possibly. I don’t focus on that.
GQ Magazine: In China they have Chinese rap stars because the people over there identify with Chinese people.
Justin Timberlake: Don’t you think the kids in China genuinely love hip hop. See, I guess I never really looked at it as black music. I guess I always just looked at it as good music.
GQ Magazine: It’s a little unfair because it’s not like it was your choice to be white.
Justin Timberlake: That’s a good way to look at it. I guess you’re right, it’s like, I’m not going to change who I am or the music I like. I can’t apologize for doing something that inspired me.
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