Cameron Diaz and Justin Timberlake were a famous Hollywood couple for nearly four years until their split in 2007. Apparently they have remained close friends, as they are now working together in Bad Teacher. They say down with Buzzine to talk about their current relationship with each other, letting go of stigmas to go over-the-top with the humor in this movie, and Justin's special talent to get the ladies...
Emmanuel Itier: What surprised you guys about working on this movie together?
Justin Timberlake: Honestly, there are no surprises. It was really easy to do this movie, and it was really fun.
Cameron Diaz: We kind of knew, going in, that it was going to be a good time, 'cause we share the same sense of humor, so knowing that we were going to be working hard for comedy's sake... It was just hard to get in there and do it, and we had such amazing people around us -- Jake Kasdan, Gene [Stupnitsky] and Lee [Eisenberg], who wrote the script, and all the other actors who were so amazing -- to just have all that support, and for us to get to play all together, was a lot of fun.
EI: How do you feel just shooting it?
CD: It's great. If you could write exactly what you are thinking all the time, how liberating would that be? Well, as an actor, just as a human being, you have to filter yourself so many times because of what's politically correct or acceptable in our society. So to go to work every day knowing that your job was to completely leave that behind and throw it all out the window and see how far you could take it was really a lot of fun. It's very liberating, and then you have to go back to being conscientious and thoughtful about other people's feelings.
JT: Boring! [Laughs]
EI: What is it like to work with your ex? Because I can't think of any exes that I'd like to be in a room and dry hump...
JT: It's fine, although I'm very sorry for your experience with your ex relationships. We have to believe that there's somebody out there who dated that are still friends.
CD: [Laughs] The thing about relationships is that you can hold onto things...
JT: You are going to a dark place, and I don't want to go there right now. [Laughs]
CD: I was just going to say that we are adults and...
JT: We are also both really awesome! [Laughs]
CD: We're just bigger than everybody else. [Laughs] We can rise above it all. Justin and I had a journey together, and we continue to have a journey together. It's changed. I'm okay with that, he's okay with that. I love this man, and I'll always love him in so many different ways. Love evolves, and it's a wonderful thing to be able to share that with somebody you really care about, to make a movie with. I love Jake in a different way, and I love Justin, and I love everybody else on that movie. Your feelings evolve, and that's okay, and we are okay with that. I'm not mad that we are not where we were the first day we met each other, and I'm glad we are not where we were the last day we said goodbye to each other. [Laughs] I'm grateful for where we are right now, which is a wonderful friendship and partnership in this movie, which is I think really fun. We made it because we wanted people to laugh, and that is such a gift that we can laugh together, and if we can share that with the world, why wouldn't you do that? I think we are kind of funny together.
JT: I think our only trepidation in doing this movie is that people would make a big to do about that. We just like each other as people, and that's never changed.
CD: We've moved on to other places.
JT: And our mission is not to do anything but just honor that.
EI: Did you ever have a teacher who threw something at you, or you wanted to throw something at the teacher?
JT: I've never had a teacher throw anything.
CD: My sister had a teacher, Mr. Henderson, who used to threaten the kids that he was going to send them out of the classroom on a gurney. And he would hit their table with a ruler, and he was pretty aggressive, and I was hoping I would get him [laughs], but I didn't get him. I got Mr. Privo, who was really cool, and he was an awesome teacher and not aggressive in any way. Sort of passive in a funny way.
EI: Could you be a teacher?
CD: I teach every day. [Laughs] I'm a teacher in the stuff that I do. I like to pass knowledge on, I like to teach the world to laugh.
JT: I could spend anywhere between an hour and a hour and a half with little children, and you have to spend more time than that to be a teacher. [Laughs]
CD: And you have to break that up over the day, over eight hours.
JT: An hour, a hour and a half and I'm like, "Oh, that's your kid..." [Laughs]
EI: You had to be pretty raunchy in front of those children...
CD: Oh, it was easy; it was no problem. It was fine, they could totally handle it. That was one of the requisites for the kids coming on, is that they had to know this was a Rated R movie -- it was about the abuse of children, and if they weren't okay with that...
JT: Go find another job.
CD: No job for you, kiddo. If you want to be a star in a movie, take the abuse.
JT: Put your face in front of dogshit. And like it. [Laughs]
CD: But act scared.
EI: Have you both experienced that earlier in your careers?
CD: No, nobody would ever use that language with me. [Laughs]
JT: I've never had that.
CD: That's a myth, I think. That's working on a different level than Hollywood. The business we do is a legitimate business, so you might get that in other arms and branches of the sidebars, like down the alleyways of Hollywood. But in Hollywood and the real business, nobody ever talks like that.
EI: What about pushing the envelope, like for this movie?
CD: That's my choice. [Laughs] Nobody put that on me.
EI: You do that next comedy you are going to do one day, and you are going to have to push further...
CD: No, there are all different ways to make people laugh. I don't consider this the only way and then I have to take that to the next extreme. I did this 'cause this was a unique opportunity. You don't get a script like this every day, and I don't think there's going to be another one near to this for a very long time. I'm doing a comedy right now, and it's a completely different comedy.
EI: Gambit, right?
CD: Yes, different humor. On the other side of the universe of humor, and it's just as gratifying and just as much fun to be playing this character and making people laugh in this way.
EI: Tell us about singing that wonderful ballad...
JT: [Laughs] That was just an opportunity that came up that the writers approached me about -- Gene and Lee -- and they said, "We have an idea that The Period Five band -- teacher band -- shows that Scott would sing an original song," so we just started talking about it. But the broad joke of it is that I'm widely known as a musician, but that's not how you treat it. It's an extension of a character, and I would say it's more similar to doing a voice like in an animated film, like a voice in a song on Saturday Night Live, where that's not how I really sing...
CD: It's a comedy.
JT: You are experimenting with the sound of her voice, so it was just more: How can we take this dorky guy and create a song around him, and what would it sound like?
CD: And what does Scott need to really emote?
JT: What does he want to tell the world?
CD: He wants the world to care.
JT: And honestly, in the defense of Scott, I think you should be a little more kindhearted when you write the review of that song, because that was his first time to write a song.
CD: That's true. It was his first go at it. He'd never tried it before.
JT: Be very careful, because Scott is a very sensitive person, and yeah, it's a terrible song.
EI: How did you react when you saw that SNL skit take off? It was number one for a few years...
JT: I did hear that. I grew up watching that show, and I would put myself on the line to do anything I could to keep that show going as long as it possibly could.
CD: Meet the new cast member. [Laughs]
JT: What I'm trying to say is [laughs] I've just been hired... No, I love that show. I stayed up late on Saturday nights with my family and we watched that show, and it really affected me as a kid. It was something I really looked forward to, so to be involved in the genius of what happens with it and to get the show up and make calls, it's really an honor to be on that show. The show has been around forever.
CD: I think the second day I met you, at a dinner, I was like, have you ever hosted SNL? And he was like, "No," and I was like, "You have to do SNL. You are made for SNL. You will be amazing. If they ever ask you..." I said, "Don't even wait for them to ask you. Go pursue it. You should do it."
JT: It was a season finale, so I'd never been there for a season finale, so that felt cool. So I'm glad people saw it.
EI: But did you know about that comedy in you? Did you have it that you were not afraid?
CD: Oh he's not afraid of anything.
JT: I've always been like that. I would do like Simon, Mike Myers's character. I would do Stuart Smalley. I would always do those for my parents, and I would imitate those characters growing up watching SNL, and honestly, I owe a lot to SNL, I really do. I don't know that a movie studio would have trusted me with a supporting role in a comedy like this if they hadn't seen what I had been idiotic enough to do on SNL, so I owe the fact that I'm getting to star in comedies with great actors and directors -- I owe a lot of that to SNL.
EI: What do you think about your other talents now? Your car won at Indy 500. What do you think?
JT: That was crazy. The Formula One car that William Rast sponsored won the Indy 500.
CD: Shut up! Oh my God! I had no idea.
JT: I was on a plane when it happened, and I got off the plane and I got like a million text messages, and it was a fluke. I had nothing to do with that other than we designed the colors and the thing for the white and orange car. We didn't drive it, we didn't build it. I think it should be known that that driver...that was his second time at the Indy 500. Dan [Wheldon]...those crews put in so much work... We were just lucky to sponsor a great team and a great driver. But it's a really random, weird thing.
CD: And something that he's really talented at is manicures and pedicures. [Laughs]
JT: Actually, if you need it, give me a call.
CD: Put your feet in a hot tub, let him take hold of them, and you'll have sparkling little mani's and pedi's.
EI: That's how you get the girl. [Laughs]
JT: I hate to tell you, bro, I don't get the girls. [Laughs] I don't get them, they don't get me! And I'm out of here! [Laughs]
Columbia Pictures' 'Bad Teacher' is released on June 24, 2011.