July 12, 2011

Justin Timberlake Vs. Gay Stereotypes...

I was a latecomer to the popularity of Justin Timberlake, but you gotta admire the guy's range --- singer, dancer, actor, fashion designer, totally fun SNL host.

Timberlake impressed me with his terrific performance in last year's The Social Network, and now while out promoting Friends With Benefits, he is impressive again.

This new film apparently defies those Hollywood stereotypes of the gossipy bitchy martini-swilling gay best friend, and presents us with a gay character who is the exact opposite of what we would expect from a mainstream release.

Tommy, the gay character is a macho gay sportswriter played by Woody Harrelson, and is constructed to go against the stereotype. Yes he ogles male models in jockstraps, but Tommy is presented as a radically non-stereotypical, straight-shooting "man's-man" who enjoys playing pick-up basketball games and talking trash with his heterosexual friends.

"That character was not originally in the script," said Timberlake in an interview this week. "And I'm really glad you brought it up, because it's something that was very important to [director] Will [Gluck] and myself. And Mila. … When we had the Woody character, we wanted to use that opportunity to break ridiculous stereotypes about sexual preference."

"Will and I had a lot of discussions about it, because I have a lot of guy friends that are straight and gay," says Timberlake. "And you know, I get along with them the same way, and I wanted that to come from an honest place from my own friendships with men who have a different sexual preference than I do. We both saw it as a great opportunity to... break a stereotype of what people have – [which] to me, has kind of become insulting – about what a gay man might be.

"So we wanted to show a relationship between a straight guy and a gay guy [who] were just friends…[who] happened to have different sexual preferences. And that they could both be self-effacing to each other about it. Because at the end of the day, that's what friends do. That's what true friends do... and I love Woody's character and my character's relationship in the movie because we have equal banter as two males that happen to have different sexual preferences and I just… it was really important to me that that break the stereotypes."

So the movie looks cute and sexy and funny (and yes predictable), and I am admiring this guy more and more... looks like I have a flick to catch this weekend!

(with info from www.afterelton.com)


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