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Timberlake enjoying Hope while honing movie career (sarah michelle gellar mention)

Leighton Ginn

Sunday 22 January 2006, by Webmaster

LA QUINTA - Like most singers who want to make the foray into movies, Justin Timberlake got the typical roles in light comedies. However, those weren’t the roles that interested Timberlake. And to make that difficult transition from music to movies, Timberlake wants to be taken seriously.

"For me, I’ve had so many offers to do comedies, romantic comedies and slapstick," said Timberlake, whose solo debut, "Justified" was released in 2002, "For me, I wanted to take it seriously and I wanted to be taken seriously. The roles I was really responding to were the dramas. I was lucky to work my way through them."

Timberlake is scheduled to appear in three movies this year.

Timberlake will star in "Alpha Dog," directed by Nick Cassavetes and partly filmed in the Coachella Valley. The film was shown at the Sundance Film Festival this month.

"Alpha Dog" is a drama based on drug dealer Jesse James Hollywood, who made the FBI’s 10-most wanted fugitive list at 19-years old. Timberlake also completed "Black Snake Moan" with Christina Ricci and Samuel L. Jackson, and "Southland Tales" with The Rock, Seann William Scott and Sarah Michelle Gellar.

"It’s been great. I’ve had the luck to work with great directors. It will be interesting to see what happens with them," Timberlake said

Timberlake has one role model in Mark Wahlberg, who made the successful transition from music to movies.

"He did it in a smart way," Timberlake said. "He took some time off from the music and took roles where he could show some real chops. I guess I’m close to doing the same thing." Timberlake is also lending his voice to the animated movie, "Shrek 3."

"It’s been fun. I’ve only done half the movie and it’s crazy," Timberlake said. "They’re always writing. They’re writing and writing and writing. You work for four hours in two days and it’s done. It’s pretty much nothing. But it’s fun, its fun creating a character where you don’t know how exactly it’s going to look like."

Timberlake is the voice of Artie, or a young King Arthur. His character is the cousin of Princess Fiona, voiced by Timberlake’s real-life love, Cameron Diaz.

During an interview, Timberlake gave an interesting response when asked if the characters had a romantic link.

"That was just a joke. Someone was trying to insinuate some sort of (romantic) character link," Timberlake said. "I explained that we were cousins and it didn’t make sense. I made the comment, ’I know I’m from Tennessee, but that’s gross.’"

On Friday, Timberlake continued his mini-tradition of signing autographs for fans following a five-hour round.

Standing by the driving range at PGA West on Friday, Timberlake took the time to sign additional autographs for people who might have missed him earlier.

In Timberlake’s other appearance at the Hope, he signed autographs for two hours after his round.

The crowds weren’t as big as the first time, but Timberlake was one of the last groups to finish and many people had left already.

"It’s worth it. There are so many kids that come out. There are so many young people, even people my age who come out here that probably wouldn’t come out if we weren’t here," Timberlake said. "It’s a little bit of work, but (it’s all right) if you can be patient and they can be patient. If people start to get restless, sometimes it gets beyond the point. But I remember what it was like when I was young and I wanted autographs from sports people."

"To the kids, it means the world. To me, the more important part is the interaction you get to have with them. You get to talk about, ’When’s your next record coming out?’ ’I really like this song.’ I’m more willing to have that interaction than the autographs. That’s what I get out of it."