Justin Timberlake Visits ‘The Tonight Show’

Justin Timberlake visited ‘The Tonight Show with Jay Leno’ on Tuesday to talk with Jay and perform his #1 single ‘SexyBack’ with Timbaland. The former *NSYNC star discussed growing up in a small Tennessee town, performing as a kid, taking time off to golf in between albums, impersonating Jessica Simpson on ‘Saturday Night Live’, his old bandmate Lance Bass revealing that he’s gay, and how he and Cameron Diaz like having sex – but have no marriage plans. Read on for a rough transcript.

Jay: All right, my first guest is on the cover of the current issue of “Rolling Stone.”

[ Cheers and applause ] He’s getting incredible reviews of ‘FutureSex/LoveSounds’. Which is out now and is number one as of today we’ll talk to him first and then he’ll perform a little bit later. Justin Timberlake.

Jay: How’s it goin’? Have a seat. Yeah, I’ve got to say — you know — ooh, boy. I was thinking about this tonight — I think — I’ve known you for a long time.

Justin: You have.

Jay: I think you were 16 when we first met, right?

Justin: Yeah.

Jay: That’s — I mean, that’s pretty amazing.

Justin: Don’t do that. That’s weird.

[ Laughter ]

Jay: Because I grew up in a a small town. You grew up in a small town too. But I don’t know — it’s in the south where is it? Tennessee, right?

Justin: Yeah, Millington, Tennessee.

Jay: Millington, Tennessee. Now what’s — what is that like?

Justin: Well, it’s small.

Jay: Like how many people? What’s the population?

Justin: Yea there’s, like, a sign that says not a lot of people.

Jay: That’s it?

Justin: Just not a lot. Yeah. There’s a real general store. You have
to drive about, you know, about 20 minutes to actually get to a stoplight.

Jay: Right.

[ Laughter ]

Justin: It’s a small town.

Jay: We — we have a photo. I love this picture.

Justin: Oh, really? Who are they?

[ Laughter ] You know that — that’s a a picture — that picture could have been taken from any year, form 1950 to today. Now you got the whole cowboy thing. Were you with it? Were you with the country —

Justin: Look at that hat!

Jay: I like the hat.

[ Laughter ]

Justin: Oh, wow.

Jay: Were you into country music at one time? Were you?

Justin: You had you to be. You kind of — you sort of got kicked out of the state if you didn’t like country music.

Jay: Yeah, yeah.

Justin: But, no I — my grandfather who is an amazing wonderful, man —

Jay: Yeah?

Justin: Yeah, can you clap for my grandfather. He — he sort of raised me on Johnny Cash and Willie Nelson.

Jay: Right, okay.

Justin: Hank Williams Sr.

Jay: Right, right, senior.

Justin: Old school country.

Jay: Old school. Old school. I like old school country.

Justin: I do, too.

Jay: I like old school country.

Justin: I do, too.

Jay: Now I know you — both your grandparents are still alive, right?

Justin: Yeah.

Jay: And they’ve been married what, like 56 years?

Justin: Yeah, 50 — 56 years.

Jay: Okay, okay. N would he give you advise? Will he pull you aside — “come here son.” And down by the — down in the “holler near the oak tree.” And all that kind of stuff?

[ Laughter ]

Justin: My — yeah.

Jay: Did they have holler where you were from?

Justin: Yeah, yeah, they did.

[ Laughter ]

Jay: And what is a holler, by the way?

Justin: I have no idea.

Jay: Exactly.

[ Laughter ] But you know they have them.

Justin: Yeah, yeah, we have them.

Jay: Okay.

Justin: It’s funny — can I tell a a little story about my grandfather?

Jay: Sure.

Justin: He has these wonderful stories that come with these advices about life. I’ll share this one with you. I’m sure you could take it in your every day life and use it. Here you go.

[ Laughter ] He told me this story one time. Now mind you, I’m 10 years old at the time.

Jay: Right.

Justin: He told me this story one time, he said, “son, I want to tell you this story about a “okay?”

[ Laughter ] That one day this dog who walks the same route every day, he goes across the train tracks every day and one day he — he walks across the train tracks and his tail gets stuck in the track. And I’m 10 years old. You’ve got to keep that in mind.

Jay: Right, right, right.

Justin: Okay he says, “Well, right about that time he looks off in the distance and sees a train coming. So he says to himself, what am I gonna do?” And — because dogs talk obviously.

Jay: Right, right, right.

[ Laughter ] And so — I think I added that tidbit. And he said, “and he panics he doesn’t know what to do, so instead of — you know instead of pulling out of the train tracks, he reaches back and he tries to bite his tail off. Well, the train just runs over his head and his tail and completely decapitates him.”

[ Laughter ] Yeah. 10 years old.

Jay: 10 years old.

Justin: 10 years old. And I’m like — I’m like, sitting there, like, almost in tears. And he says to me — he says, “now you know what the moral of the story is?” And I say, “what?” And he says, “don’t ever lose your head over a little piece of tail.”

[ Laughter ]

Jay: A lovely story. Well that’s — well let me ask you this.

Justin: It didn’t make much sense at 10-years-old.

Jay: When did you —

Justin: But there was — I don’t — I don’t know how old I was, but I remember one day remembering that story and going, oh!

[ Laughter ] So that’s what he meant. Thanks, papa.

Jay: Yeah. Now, I know — obviously you started performing as a kid.

Justin: I did.

Jay: Yeah.

Justin: I — I think I popped out performing. I always used to entertain my family.

Jay: Yeah.

Justin: I used to imitate the Jackson Five and —

Jay: You remember appearing or star search?

Justin: I do. I do.

Jay: Yeah, yeah. And you sang a country western song.

Justin: I did.

Jay: For your grandpa. Was that for your grandpa?

Justin: Sort of, yeah.

Jay: Yeah, now how old were you when you did that?

Justin: I want to say I was like 9 or 10.

Jay: 9 or 10. You know I found —

Justin: Of course you did!

[ Cheers and applause ]

Jay: I don’t know if people want to see it.

Justin: No.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Jay: Here, let’s put it right here so you can see it.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Justin: What kind of crap is this.

[ Laughter ]

Jay: Let’s — let’s take a a look.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Jay: You were fabulous! Look at this. My favorite is — yeah, I like that one.

Justin: You like that one? Yeah.

Jay: You still got — you still got that one then.

Justin: There’s this one. There’s this one. It was for some reason, I went to church with — what about that hat? It was a ten gallon hat.

Jay: I like — it’s all right. Look we’ll take a break. More with Justin
when we come back.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Jay: Welcome back. Talking with Justin Timberlake. I want to ask you something. I know at age 22 you had your success, everything is going great. Yet you take — you just stop and you take what? Two years off? Year — two and a half? I don’t know.

Justin: Yeah, I took — well, in between I did a couple of films that
are supposed to come out next year.

Jay: Right, okay.

Justin: But, yeah, for most part really took some time away.

Jay: So, what made you decide okay, that’s it, I’m going to stop now?

Justin: Well, I mean, like we talked about before, man, I really have been working since I was 10.

Jay: Right.

Justin: I mean, and I’m blessed to have that going for me, but I think I got to the point to where it was all I knew. And I remember, one — one day I was — I had a couple days off and I was actually back in Tennessee, with my — with my dad, Paul. And he said, you know, you should — you should maybe — it was towards the end of the cycle, the tour with the last record.

Jay: Right, right.

Justin: And he said to me, he goes, “you know, maybe you should think about enjoying your life while you still have the young body and can enjoy it.”

Jay: Right.

Justin: He said “because, you know, one day you –you know, you might turn around and you’re 50 or 60 years old and you want to do the things” —

Jay: 50’s?

Justin: No, no, no. Nothing wrong with 50’s.

Jay: I know. Don’t look at me and go “50’s, uh, 60’s.”

[ Laughter ] But I liked how you looked and you go “uh, 60’s or 70.” So, okay. So then you decide — because you’re kind of like a a workaholic.

Justin: I am.

Jay: How do you —

Justin: I am.

Jay: How do you decide? You say okay, “I’m gonna work right now. I’m gonna work.”

Justin: Yeah, so yeah.

Jay: Like you, what did you do? How did you relax?

Justin: Well, the first couple — the first couple — actually first six months were — was tough.

Jay: Yeah.

Justin: You know? I was antsy, I was trying to find something to do. And after that it got — it got a little easier. I started playing golf a lot.

Jay: Golf, okay. Now, were you any good at golf prior to this?

Justin: I started playing about four or five years ago.

Jay: Yeah.

Justin: And obviously working so much I didn’t have time to kind of
take it seriously. But I’m — I’m really addicted to golf now.

Jay: Okay.

Justin: Like, it’s all I want to do.

Jay: But see, this is what I like about you. You had a job, you were singing, performing, dancing, writing.

Justin: Yeah.

Jay: You stop that. So now your new job is golf.

Justin: Exactly.

Jay: But now you’re addicted to golf. What is your handicap?

[ Laughter ]

Justin: I’ll say right now I’m probably — I’m probably a a 6 or 7?

Jay: That’s pretty good.

Justin: That is really — I think it’s damn good!

Jay: It’s really good. It’s really good. That’s very good.

[ Cheers and applause ] And I know you did “Saturday Night Live,” which, I was surprised. You did some impressions. You did Jessica Simpson actually.

Justin: I did. A little bit.

Jay: Yeah, tell me about that. Was that your idea? Was that their idea? Where did that come from?

Justin: Well, that was my idea.

Jay: Really?

[ Laughter ]

Justin: Yeah.

Jay: This is not something that you do at home? Did you dress up like her at home?

Justin: No, not, not so much.

[ Laughter ] Although it sounds like fun, jay, not so much. We were just looking for funny things do. We did a bit — a parody on punk and we did a parody on “The Newlywed Show.”

[ Cheers and applause ]

Jay: So let’s show — let’s show you as Jessica. Here we go.

Justin: Oh, we’re gonna show it?

Jay: Yeah, here we go.

Justin: That’s awesome.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Jay: Wow. You know something — some advise?

Justin: Jessica’s forearms never looked so hairy.

Jay: Yeah, yeah and don’t ever go to prison.

[ Laughter ]

Justin: I’ll try to remember that. I’ll try to remember that. Don’t
ever go to prison.

Jay: How is — how’s lance doing? Have you talked to him?

Justin: He’s good.

Jay: Yeah?

Justin: I’ve seen a him a couple of times here and there. He says he’s doing well.

Jay: I assume you’re not shocked when all that came out?

Justin: No, not — I wasn’t shocked.

Jay: But he seems happy.

Justin: He called me ahead of time to let me know he was going to make an announcement.

Jay: Right, right.

Justin: And he made an announcement.

Jay: He did.

[ Laughter ]

Justin: But, yeah, he seems happy. And that, you know, he’s one of my greatest friends. So that’s what was most important to me. He’s like, “how do you feel about it? Is this okay?” And I said, “dude, whatever you’re comfortable with, I’m cool with.”

Jay: Yeah, cool, cool.

Justin: So.

[ Cheers and applause ]

Jay: Now tell us about the cd. It’s number one.

Justin: It’s the most amazing CD in the world.

Jay: Really!

[ Cheers and applause ] Wow! Wow!

Justin: I like it, but —

Jay: Yeah, “FutureSex/LoveSounds.” So what is your — what is your future sex? Any — any marriage thing going? How’s that thing with Cameron —

Justin: Marriage?

Jay: How’s Cameron going? How’s Cameron doing?

Justin: That’s the thing about that, we like having sex.

Jay: Oh, I see.

[ Cheers ] Oh, that’s good. That’s good.

Justin: Why would we want to ruin a a good thing?

Jay: Wow, well. Well, well, you won’t be laughing when you get home. Okay!

[ Laughter ] When we come back, you going to sing for us?

Justin: Yes.

Jay: Justin will sing a a little bit later.

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