Justin Timberlake on making ‘Trolls’ OST, lessons learned in life


By Janet Nepales, courtesy of Manila Bulletin

Los Angeles – Justin Timberlake talked to us recently about his musical writing process for the film “Trolls.”

The 35-year-old multi-talented performer is doing the voice of the grumpy troll, Branch, in the film of which he is also the executive music producer.

“It’s been a really great test doing the music for this movie. It is a different experience because you feel like I am creating this music in a vacuum. But the funny thing is when you start to write and put all your ideas together, it opened me up in an interesting way because you’re making music that’s not about you. So in a weird way, I’m struggling to find the right words but it opens you up in a different way,” he said.

Growing up, he disclosed, one of his musical influences was John Williams.

“Anything John Williams influenced me. But for this project, ‘Saturday Night Fever’ keeps popping up in my mind as an example of a movie that was carried by a certain era of music. These songs played on the Top 40 radio as well. I just felt like let’s make this soundtrack feel like one big pop soundtrack.”

When we reminded Justin that he once said in an interview his parents never pushed him to do things, he immediately confessed, “That was a lie. My mom pushed me. She pushed me to care because when you’re a kid, you just don’t care as much. So, yeah, my mom pushed me.”

So does his drive, passion and focus also come from his mother’s influence, we asked him. “I think from the ideas that my mom kind of put in my head that if you’re going to do something, you do it all the way,” he said.

Is there anything else he wants to achieve since he is already everywhere – music, film, stage?

“I would like to achieve some sleep,” he half-kiddingly replied. “But I also realize that that may just be impossible from here on out.”

Turning serious, Justin added, “No, I don’t know. I may stand up or sit up here and sound like a Buddhist, but that probably wouldn’t be the worst thing to sound like. I think you’re always transitioning into the next thing. I feel really lucky to be on the career path that I’ve been on for so long but I definitely feel that I want to be as patient as possible.

“I feel like the best way to respect it is just to be as patient as possible and try newer things. This is my first time to do a soundtrack, you know, and do all the music for a movie and like I said earlier it’s been a real test. I don’t even know how to judge how it came out and it wasn’t just me.  Obviously there was the help of a ton of people…”

For someone who started performing at age 11 on the TV show “Star Search,” then joined the cast of “The Mickey Mouse Club” in 1993 with Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, JC Chasez, Ryan Gosling and Keri Russell, Justin disclosed he is not sure yet if he will allow his son, Silas Randall, to join show business in the future.

“He is just 16 months old so I have no idea,” he said. “Not that I haven’t thought about it. I just think you wait and see what he’s interested in, support him and try to give him as many opportunities as you can.”

Justin admitted he felt he also missed out on certain things since he started young in the industry. He revealed, “Yeah, it was an amazing thing but I think I did miss out on certain things. But I feel pretty lucky because for 35 years, I’ve had an amazing life and I feel really lucky to have had that so far.”

And the most important lesson he has learned in life so far?

He shared, “That you really are not in control of what’s happening. I mean, that’s what fatherhood will teach you is that you really are not in control.”

Credit to Janet Nepales, Manila Bulletin


About the Writer

Janet Susan R. Nepales

Janet Susan R. Nepales is an award-winning journalist who is the first and only Filipina member of the prestigious Hollywood Foreign Press Association (HFPA) that produces the Golden Globe awards annually. A member of the Los Angeles Press Club, Janet has received awards from the Los Angeles Press Club in the Best Columnist – International category for 2012, 2013 and 2014. Janet has a regular weekly column in Manila Bulletin entitled, “Hollywood Bulletin,” and is a regular Los Angeles correspondent of GMA-7 TV Network. She has been chosen by the Filipina Women’s Network (FWN) as one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina Women in 2012 and one of the 100 Most Influential Filipina in the World in 2013. The Los Angeles-based journalist also co-authored the first book published by the Filipina Women’s Network entitled, “Disrupt.” She is married to journalist-author Ruben V. Nepales and has two daughters --- Bianca Nicole and Rafaella Angelica.

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