Justin Timberlake & Cameron Diaz on ’jean jams,’ ’boob jobs’ & ’Bad Teacher’

by Jim Halterman
Thursday Jun 23, 2011

He’s already brought "Sexy Back" and won an Emmy for his "Saturday Night Live" music video "Dick In A Box," so what’s the next catch phrase from Justin Timberlake that could be sweeping the nation once his latest film "Bad Teacher" hits theaters this weekend?

"I gotta say there’s nothing wrong with a good ’jean jam’," said Timberlake at the recent Los Angeles press junket for the film, which stars Timberlake’s ex-, Cameron Diaz, as an underachieving teacher whose only goal is to win a teacher’s bonus so she can get a boob job.

What exactly is a ’jean jam’? It comes from a scene in the film where goodie two-shoes Timberlake and the horny Diaz dry-hump with their jeans on in a hotel room when the pair - both schoolteachers - are chaperoning a student trip. Timberlake takes credit for having "created the only dry humping scene in the movies," the result of which is the conspicuous wet spot on his jeans when they finish.

"We felt that we had a responsibility," he explained straight-faced, "and that was to young people who are going to buy tickets to ’Transformers,’ but go see this [R-rated] movie because they’re underaged... It’s really a public service announcement for safe sex."

"That’s pretty much the only message that is in the movie that we’re proud of," Diaz added, laughing. "Other than that, there’s nothing else." But, she added she didn’t think they should make a movie with no redeeming social values. "If we’re going to try to be role models in any way we should at least have a ’jean jam’."

Her goal - bigger tits

In the film Diaz plays Elizabeth, a disengaged teacher with a single goal: to raise $10,000 for a boob job that she hopes will land her a wealthy sugar daddy. While Diaz understands Elizabeth’s needs, she personally hasn’t thought this solution as a viable one.

"Obviously," explained the blonde actress, "if I thought if I could get somewhere with having bigger boobies I would’ve done it by now; but for Elizabeth, it’s everything. It’s called hard economic times. Have you ever heard of this? You can’t find a millionaire like you could three or four years ago before the crash. It takes a lot of work now."

Nor is Diaz’s Elizabeth lazy about getting her enhanced rack - she washes cars, returns cans and sells used clothes for her ’new tits’ fund; but her pursuit begins in earnest when she hears of a nice financial reward to the teacher whose class gets the highest scores on the state exams. "She’s working hard for those. She knows to get what you want you have to have a goal, and her goal is to get bigger tits."

Diaz also made a point of saying that the movie is not judging those who seek out sugar daddies in this way; instead screenwriters Lee Eisenberg and Gene Stupnitsky find the humor in the situation. "The thing about it is," she said, "[Elizabeth] really believes this is the right thing to do... so it was really fun to make fun of [that]. Especially living in this town (Hollywood), we all know what it’s like to come up against people who have their priorities a little screwed up and focus on the wrong things."

Story continues on following page:

Watch the trailer to ’Bad Teacher’:

Watch this interview with Cameron Diaz about "Bad Teacher":

The worst song ever?

Despite the often crude (and cruel) teaching methods Diaz’s character employs, the actors in the film had nothing but positive things to say about teachers they’ve had in the past. Jason Segel ("How I Met Your Mother") plays a fellow teacher who has his eye on Diaz; but as a teenager attending the prestigious Harvard Westlake school in Los Angeles, he said one teacher changed his life and helped give him a solid perspective on the entertainment industry. "He said right before I left, ’Don’t ever forget the best actor in the world is out there stuck doing dinner theater somewhere, so don’t ever get arrogant thinking you’re entitled to do this.’ And it’s stayed with me this whole time."

Timberlake went for laughs by remembering a teacher he had in 7th grade who told him he "should have more realistic goals than being a songwriter and an actor" because his school work was suffering. The triple-threat performer spoke quietly into the microphone with some advice to the teacher: "You can quote me on this directly to her - ’Suck it.’" That comment aside, he added with sincerity that "Man, they’ve got to find a way to pay teachers more."

In the film Timberlake plays Scott, a naive 30-something substitute teacher whose favorite book is "Eat, Pray, Love" and who marvels at the variety of different cuisines in the world. (Having discovered an Ethopian restaurant, he says, "They have their own cuisine. That’s progress.")

Screenwriters Eisenberg and Stupintsky (veterans from "The Office" on television) even tap Timberlake’s vocal skills, but not in a good way. "The enormous advantage in having Justin playing the part... nobody is funnier singing than he is," said the film’s director Jake Kasdan, "We had the idea that Scott [Timberlake’s character] performs in the worst song ever written and does so proudly."

The former member of the boy band *NSync explained the origins of "Simpatico," the "bad song" in the film, which Timberlake sings to his on-screen love interest, played by British actress Lucy Punch ("Hot Fuzz," "Being Julia").

"That was an idea that Gene [Stupintsky] and Lee [Eisenberg, the writers] and Jake kind of came to me about," Timberlake explained. "In the script it was a loose idea about Scott doing the singer/songwriter thing and I remember Jake coming to me and saying ’if we’re going to do this we have to create something that is terrible.’"

Since this terrible song is one of the funniest moments in the film, Timberlake explained that performing it - and the aforementioned "jean jam" - are all part of making the film as funny as it can be. "It’s pretty obvious that I put my body on the line for comedy and I put my voice on the line for comedy. But, honestly, the lyrics were by Gene and Lee. I just tried to create the most terrible melody that I could. My mission was to make it so bad that they would not be able to market it in the trailer."

Girl power (at the box office)

In a movie year that has already seen a huge movie blockbuster in the female-driven comedy "Bridesmaids," Diaz shared her pride in being one of many women who are celebrated for being crass and less-than ladylike.

"Women have always behaved badly; I think probably worse than men. Maybe men just don’t have the stomach for it. Any of my guy friends when I start to tell them what women really talk about and what really goes down they cover their ears and they can’t take it!" While the actress said she has not had a chance to see "Bridesmaids" yet, she added, "I think it’s just time for women. There are a lot of those films now and I think people are willing to sort of laugh at those things altogether now."

Timberlake agreed with her, and also explained that he sees our modern technology as a way to make the more vulgar humor permissible to audiences. "We live in an age where technology has afforded a generation a crasser way of looking at the world. The Internet is a really strange place to be."

Like "Bridesmaids," "Bad Teacher" shows a move away from traditional roles in film comedies that feature women. Diaz sees it as a good thing and chalked it up as a sign of the times that "studios... know that we’re tired of seeing the same thing. After awhile it just doesn’t work anymore. This is a business and we want to make some money and we want to make things that work. I think they’re taking a chance at different things."

If "Bad Teacher" follows in the footsteps of "Bridesmaids" at the box office, it was well worth the risk.

"Bad Teacher" opens nationwide this weekend. For more on the film, visit http://www.areyouabadteacher.com

Watch this interview with Justin Timberlake about "Bad Teacher":

Watch this interview with Justin Timberlake and Jason Segal about "Bad Teacher":

Jim Halterman lives in Los Angeles and also covers the TV/Film/Theater scene for www.FutonCritic.com, AfterElton, Vulture, CBS Watch magazine and, of course, www.jimhalterman.com. He is also a regular Tweeter and has a group site on Facebook.


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