Justin Timberlake and Cameron Diaz get naughty in this weekend’s new comedy Bad Teacher. Diaz plays the teacher in question, Elizabeth Halsey, who’s just working so she can afford a boob job and attract a sugar daddy. She thinks that sugar daddy may be Scott Delacorte (Timberlake), a millionaire heir but a total goody goody.
Halsey does her best to corrupt Delacorte, even settling for sex with clothes on, and the actors continued to joke around at a press conference for the film. Bad Teacher opens in theaters June 24.
Q: Playing a character who just wants a boob job, was it fun to portray the wrong self-image values?
CD: Completely. Because obviously if I thought that I could get somewhere with having bigger boobies I would have done it by now. But for her, it's everything. It's called hard economic times. Have you ever heard of this? You can't find a millionaire the way you could three, four years ago before the crash. It's a lot of work for her now. So it's an investment. Suze Orman would have been like, “Girl, five year plan.” You know what I mean? So yeah. She's working hard for those. She knows that to get what you want you have to have a goal. And her goal is to invest in her business and get a pair of tits.
Q: And it’s not just the superficial, she’s actually looking for a sugar daddy!
CD: But I'm not judging, clearly. I'm not judging. The thing about it is if we really believed this was the right thing to do we wouldn't be making fun of it, right? So it was really fun to make fun of it because clearly, especially living in this town, we all know what it's like to sort of come up against people who have their priorities a little screwed up and focus on the wrong things. It was really fun to be able to sort of go to work every day and have a gang, a team of people all on the same wagon going towards complete and utter distaste and throwing everything out the window. It was fantastic. We had a lot of fun doing that.
Q: Who were your memorable teachers, good or bad?
JT: I had a teacher in seventh grade who told me I should have more realistic goals than being a songwriter and an entertainer because my schoolwork was suffering. And you can quote me on this directly to her: Suck it.
CD: I had Mr. Fujikawa in sixth grade. He used to come in after the weekends and tell us about his three-year-old son that he would spend the weekends with and how wonderful it was to have a child to pass on knowledge to and how you want to encourage them and how to also teach them life's lessons. As he sat with his feet literally kicked up on the desk talking about how wonderful it was this weekend that his son was starting to walk, and how gratifying it was that when he took the four steps up the porch to get to the top to the front door as he got to the very top last step he would pull on the string that he had tied around his leg to bring him back down to the beginning, to help him get back up the next four or five steps. And I just thought that was amazing, I laughed so hard when he told that story. Of course I can relate very well to it.That to me was somebody who helped form and shape me, really. Honestly.
JT: I feel like these stories really explain who we are as adults.
Q: Your love scene must be the best dry humping scene ever filmed. How weird, fun or silly was it to shoot?
JT: Well, I think we created the only dry humping scene ever seen in a movie. I've got to say there's nothing wrong with a good jean jam. I'm serious. I don’t know why that's funny to you guys. But also we felt collectively, the both of us, that we had a responsibility. And that was to the young people who are going to buy tickets to, I don't know, Transformers and go see this movie because they're underage. It really is a public service announcement for safe sex.
CD: You can't when you've got the denim on denim.
JT: Nobody ever got pregnant with their jeans on.
CD: So, totally promoting that.
CD: That's pretty much the only message that's in the movie that we're proud of. Other than that there's nothing else. It's just, we thought, “Well, you guys look. We shouldn't just be making a movie about nothing that is of any importance or is like, you know, if we're going to try to be role models in any way we should offer up least a jean jam.” At the very least.
Q: Justin, did you write the lyrics to Scott’s song and could you get through it with a straight face?
JT: “Simpatico,” the original composition by Scott Delacorte? Yeah. It's a special song. It's a special song. Sorry. That was a idea that [screenwriters] Gene [Stupnitsky] and Lee [Eisenberg] and [director] Jake [Kasdan] kind of came to me about. In the script there was a loose idea about the teacher band show and Scott doing kind of a singer/songwriter thing. I remember Jake coming to me and saying, “We have to do something. If we're going to do this we have to create something that's going to be terrible.” And so it's pretty obvious that I put my body on the line for comedy. Why not put my voice on the line for comedy? But honestly, yeah, the lyrics were Gene and Lee and then they brought it to me and then I just tried to create the most terrible melody that I could to it. The mission was to make it so bad that they would not be able to market it in the trailer. It's really just an extension of the character.
Q: Did either of you go to public school?
CD: Oh, I am as public as education gets.
JT: Man, they've got to figure out a way to pay teachers more. That's my opinion of it. They actually are like surrogate parents away from home and in doing the junket for the last couple of days, I've kind of come across the realization that, in hearing everyone talk about, because we've constantly gotten the question, “Have you had a bad teacher when you were younger?” And I get why you guys ask us that because it's a little hook with Bad Teacher, I get it. But you keep coming across this idea about how we started talking about it and found that the teachers that we actually learned more from were the ones that were kind of like taught us life lessons more than trigonometry. There's such a huge responsibility and they're underappreciated and underpaid. So that's my opinion about teachers.
Q: Cameron, you’ve done There’s Something About Marry, Very Bad Things, The Sweetest Thing. Bridesmaids is doing well and you’re back with Bad Teacher. Has the world for women in comedy changed in the last 10 or so years?
CD: You know, women have always behaved badly. I think probably worse than men. Maybe men just don't have the stomach for it. They don’t want to see it on film because they just can't take it. I mean any of my guy friends when I start to tell them what women really talk about and what really goes down they're like, “La, la, la, la, la, la, la.” They don’t want to hear it. It's like, plug their ears. They can't take it. So maybe it's just at this moment is the time for women to come. There's a lot of those films now. I think that people are willing to sort of laugh at those things all together now. This movie would have been just as hilarious with a man. As a female, which I think is kind of great, it just goes to show that humor, that you can make something funny for everyone. I think that we can find a lot of similarities in what we laugh at. I haven't seen Bridesmaids yet so I can't wait to see it. I've been out of the country and it's not open in England at the moment. I think people are just willing to take a chance. Formulaically we're tired of kind of seeing the same old thing, the same old 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.
JT: As a male who actually enjoys hearing those dirty things that women say, I think funny women have been around forever. Like Carol Burnett, Madeline Kahn. I mean there's always been genius, genius female actors in comedy.
CD: That's true.
JT: I also think that we live in an age where technology has afforded a generation a lot more of a crass look at the world. The Internet is a really strange place to be. And I think the level of what we can kind of understand about brash humor mixed with all these different elements, I think with all types of movies like The Hangover and things like that, people like Jake and directors who step up and say, “We want to push the envelope but in a way that we know can get laughs,” that always fuels the engine. But also it is great that, like Cameron said, that's the coolest thing about this movie is that this lead role, it's a great thing to see a female that can do it and do it as well as Cameron does it.
Q: Justin, it looks like you’re about to join the Five Timers Club on Saturday Night Live. What makes you such a good host for that show?
JT: I've hosted four times. The season finale was just my fourth time although it does seem like more because when I'm in New York City they can't keep me out of 30 Rock, which is probably annoying to them on some level. I grew up with SNL. It is an institution. It is part of the humor and chemistry between me and my father. I come from a divorced family and didn't get to spend a lot of time with my father when I was young. And it's something that we share that is really special to me. I remember staying up late. It was really bad parenting because I was too young to be watching some of the jokes that were on SNL but, hey, I turned out okay. I'm just such a huge fan of ht show. To be honest, I'm here at this press conference because of SNL. I have no doubt in my mind about that. I owe getting a shot to be in Bad Teacher with these genius comedians and comediennes directly to SNL and Lorne Michaels for letting me be there and rock out with - -
CD: Your d*ck in a box?
JT: Can we just say that that is a thoughtful Christmas gift?
CD: It is. I think so. The smaller the bow, the bigger the package.
JT: That's true. That's true. Yeah. Trim your bow, gentleman. So I directly owe any opportunity that I ever get on film to be in a comedy to SNL. So I'm so thankful for that show as a kid and as an adult.