Justin Timberlake sees more Will Gluck in his future
Much of the accolades bestowed on the romantic R-rated comedy "Friends With Benefits" highlighted the chemistry between stars Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. But sparks were flying in other directions during the filming of the bi-coastal flick that earned $18.6 million this past weekend: those between Timberlake and his writer-director, Will Gluck.
It seems the two really hit it off and, according to Timberlake, "We will make plenty of movies together." He says the duo's shared sense of humor fueled some of the on-screen laughs including a raunchy moment where Timberlake's character is trying to urinate during the middle of some sexual calisthenics with Kunis.
"You feel great being in a movie like this when your director wants you to succeed in every way," says Timberlake. "He wants to see the guys relate to you and the girls fall in love with you."
Timberlake and Kunis workshopped the script for more than a month before the movie went into production. It was the kind of opportunity few actors experience. Gluck would meet with the duo with 20 pages of script in front of him and the three would beat it up, changing lines, defending each character's perspective. "We never get to do that," says Timberlake.
Perhaps endearing himself to his actors ahead of production allowed Gluck to ask for a lot of work from them during the filming. Gluck likes 20-minute takes, joking, "If the crew isn't sleeping by the time I call cut, I've cut too soon," says Gluck.
According to Timberlake, that approach worked. "He doesn't cut, he just resets. It carbonates the scene in a way. It keeps the energy level up. It was the perfect additive for all the workshopping we did" in pre-production.
Timberlake is very complimentary of Gluck's tone, one he describes as reminiscent of 1980s icon John Hughes. "Will might be embarrassed that I'm comparing him to his idol but 'Ferris Bueller's Day Off' and 'The Breakfast Club' both speak from a point of view of a specific generation. That's what we wanted this film to do."
Photo: Mila Kunis, Justin Timberlake and Will Gluck at the New York premiere of "Friends With Benefits." Credit: Jemal Countess/Getty Images