In Defense of... Justin Timberlake

The debate over Justin Timberlake's acting career is so polarizing, it's inspired vehement comments for either side on disparaging articles like this one in Variety . As successful as his music career (and stints on SNL) may be, there are those out there who still can't believe directors would hire an ex-boy band member for high-profile films like The Social Network and Inside Llewyn Davis, which expands to select theaters nationwide this weekend. So to help explain this phenomenon, here are 10 reasons why our man Timberlake shouldn't quit acting. Disagree? Let us have it in our comments.

SNL, FTW

Four words: d*** in a box.

He Survived Being in a Boy Band

Timberlake has not only survived the transition from Teen Beat to solo heartthrob, he's excelled thoroughly enough to nearly erase the memory of his boy-band days altogether.

'Nuff said:

Is He a Good Actor? Well, He's Not Necessarily a Bad Actor

So far, Justin Timberlake has not displayed the kind of range required for the big leagues, but he's been quite good in the roles afforded him. His sci-fi action film In Time barely made its budget domestically, but overseas made some $140 million--someone's buying those tickets. Of his breakout role as a tattooed thug in 2006's Alpha Dog, Richard Roper said "Justin Timberlake has what it takes to be a genuine movie star;" in fact, though the movie was poorly reviewed, critics across the board lauded his performance in it. So let's not count him out yet.

He Seems Like a Really Nice Guy

There's a weird wholesomeness to J.T. which allows him parent-approved entrance into houses across the nation without ruining his street credibility. Not that any of us have a chance, but you could totally take him to prom. Your dad might even invite him to smoke cigars and drink brandy.

But Maybe He's Not That Nice?

Despite that clean-cut, pretty-boy face, by some impossible wizardry he also has major sex appeal.  While we can't quite pinpoint how he pulls this off, all guys should strive to learn what we can from his example.

He Was in The Social Network

The Social Network, David Fincher's film about the formation of Facebook and the legal battles that followed, is something of a masterpiece. While not 100% perfect, the very ambitious film comes pretty darn close. A big part of its success comes from Timberlake's charismatic/sleazy performance as Napster cofounder Sean Parker. 

The History of Rap

If you want any indication of how much talent Justin Timberlake packs, watch one of his "History of Rap" performances on Jimmy Fallon. These medleys start out merely as cool and funny celebrations, but by the time each one ends you're kind of in awe of Timberlake's casual ability to do just about anything. Jimmy Fallon's pretty good too, but Timberlake owns the stage.

He Got to Be in a Coen Brothers Film

It's difficult to argue with a creative force as strong as that wielded by the Coen brothers. And the Coen brothers like Timberlake enough as an actor to cast him in their new film Inside Llewyn Davis, and though it's a smaller role critics are saying he's strong in it. That's pretty much all you need to know.

 

Are we totally off base? Go on, we can take it.

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Next Article by Derrick Deane

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