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Catch Justin in this Fall's "Runner Runner" and "Inside Llewyn Davis"
Justin Rocks . you know his as the blue eyed curly-haired angel from nsync. but he has alot more on his mind than just music. Here , the thoughtful 19-year-old from tennessee talks about charity , spirituality and why most of his girlfriends have cheated on him. By Elizabeth Kuster.
Okay. Justin, the first thing we want to ask you about is your charity – The justin timberlake foundation. How’d you get the idea for it ?
The idea came from me growing up with a school that didn’t have a very good music program. If i hadn’t begged my mom to take me to things outside of school – like voice lessons – I probably wouldn’t be where I am today. So I gave money and have been raising money to give to schools. I think kids should learn about every different style and era of music , and have it be fun. Classes should include today’s music too – something they’re familiar with. When I’ve raised enough to cover what each school needs , I want to oversee the curriculum. I wanna stir up the grits a bit.
It’s cool that you’re so personally involved. A lot of celebs attach their names to charity and that’s it.
well this is very important to me , for a couple of reasons. One , I wouldn’t be here if it wasn’t for me going outside of school to do music. Two, columbine. I think it’s dumb that people were saying ” those kids did that because they were listening to Marilyn Manson music , blah blah blah”. That’s shallow. but we do know that the kids who did it weren’t the most popular kids. every time you give kids an opportunity to let out their energy in a positive way you’re gonna ahev a better outcome. I mean , say you get a couple of kids who don’t really fit in , and in their off time they go and form a garage band. The next thing you know they’re pearl jam or blink 182. it could happen to anybody. it really could.
you seem to be so comfortable with who you are. have you always been like that ?
well , i went through an insecure stage in middle school. I was always questioning myself in anything and everything. A lot of times , people think before they act , and i think that sometimes they should act before they think. it’s funny how much we use our minds to second guess ourselves. when in reality we should use our hearts and go for it.
so it sounds like you went through an awkward stage in middle school. what about grade school ?
I hated my hair. that was the thing everybody teased me about. they called me brillo pad. I was always trying to ether straighten the crap out of it or cut it all off. I couldn’t deal. In second grade I took like paper scissors and cut my hair all uneven. I was like ” I can’t stand this snip snip “. That’s the only time i ever really got a spanking.
what made you go that far ?
I just wanted to be like everyone else. My hair , at least. cause everybody was like ” your hair! your hair! ” it wasn’t like everybody said, ” oh that’s cool” – like now. Now i get compliments on my hair because it’s so different. But you know , kids just make fun of each other. They’re cruel. anything that’s different gets picked on. you had to look the look and walk the walk.
and now that you’re older you want to be different - you want to be your own person.
I’m just a very passionate person in everything I do. I believe that whenever you do something you should put everything into it; otherwise , it’s really not worth it.
We’ve heard that you ” put everything into it ” attitude has overwhelmed some of your past girlfriends. is it true ?
every relationship I’ve been in , I’ve eventually overwhelmed the girl because they just cant handle all the love. honestly. that’s always been eh dilemma.
well , how do you show a girl love ?
there are all kinds of little things you can do.
So you tell them you love them , you five them thing , you do things for them….
All of the above.
do you call them 24/7?
well ,I’m not annoying. I’ll do things like put cards in their drawers …. I mean their dresser drawers. and scavenger hunts - — I’ll hide clues , and they follow them to a gift.
that’s so sweet! is it true that one of your girlfriends cheated on you ? she must have been totally crazy!
most of the girls I’ve been with have cheated on me.
but you don’t think that all girl are like that. right ?
I’m trying not to. but i went through a period when I was disgusted. I’d totally given myself to somebody , and she took it for granted and I was like ” what is anything worth?” I kinda felt like it was all just a game. and I wasn’t into playing that game. So I just despised women for about half a year.
did someone finally sit you down and say ” you gotta have hope” , or something ?
yeah. and you just get over it. You learn that the people you were with just didn’t love themselves enough to be honest with you. that’s really it. you have to known that it wasn’t you. it was them—they couldn’t be honest with themselves. so they couldn’t be honest with you either.
You have so many female fans who love you. Have you and the other nsync guys ever talked about who’d labeled the heartthrob on the group?
No . I think we all have a good attitude about everything. Everybody has a niche. and our differences are what make us a group. If there was one less of us , It wouldn’t be nsync. we definitely feel blessed , but you have to know that if we were sitting in a small club singing in front of fifty people we’d still be happy.
In the last year , nsync has gotten so big it’s insane. what have you learned about yourself through this superstardom thing ?
that when you’re on tour , you get disillusioned. There are a lot of yes-people out there who tell you what you want to hear so they can get what they want out of you. i hate to sound jaded , but Chris and the other guys are really the only people i can always depend on to be honest with me.
Because you’re all in the same boat.
you singled Chris out. are you and he a lot alike?
I have stuff in common with all of the guys. but Chris and I have the same interests. we always take about sports , and we have a lot of the same views on family and spirituality…
what about spirituality? have you ever had any spirituality experiences?
well , i think miracles happen everyday. you know. I don’t get a chanced to go to church really anymore. so some people say I’m not as involved in my spirituality as them. that’s so not true. i don’t want people to think im blasting the church , im just saying you can get the same experiences outside of church. i read my bible. but i don’t base my decisions on what the bible says. I base my decisions on my experiences with god. I saw this t-shirt the other day that said ” im not religious. i just love god” i thought that was a cool little message. I don’t want to get too deep in this conversation, because my spirituality is mine and i really don’t want to make anybody feel something that they don’t want to feel. but my thing is , god is all around us — in everything we say , everything we do , everything we feel. I really believe that.
and you believe in angels too?
oh,sure.um….i’m telling you, you’re gonna get me into this conversation and people are going to be like ,” he’s a freak!” but okay , i think angels could possibly be people who’ve lived more lives than others. if that makes sense to you. They’ve already figured out who they are. and so all they do is give to other people. Haven’t you ever had someone in your life who never thought about themselves— they just gave and gave to other people?
yes , moms are that way.
I feel like women have lived more lives than men anyways.