Playing the hero in “In Time” — a sci-fi adventure set in a world where people stop aging at 25 and have to earn time to stay alive — has given Justin Timberlake a lot of chances to think about time, including being stuck with a certain look. “I look back as a lot of my younger years have been documented and I can honestly say that I would not like to revisit,” says the musician-turned-actor. “So I’m perfectly fine with aging.”
Of course he says that now, at age 30 — and playing a convincing 25 on screen. Maybe he’ll change his tune after another 10 or 20 years. But for now, movies like “In Time” are helping keep him young, especially considering all the action involved. “On top of being a really rich story filled with lots of things, I got to live out a lot of boyhood fantasies in this movie — shooting guns and getting to learn how to stunt-drive,” he says, grinning.
Given the time-sensitive nature of the film, there was of course lots of running involved — which was fine for Timberlake, but not so much his co-star, Amanda Seyfried, who did most of the chases in high heels. It was a necessity for the plot as well as for practical reasons, though, Timberlake jokes. “We debated actually in the middle of a scene her taking the heels off and just running without them, but she would have gotten lost in the frame,” he says, teasing his much more diminutive leading lady.
One pitfall of a high-concept action thriller can be overly expositional, and that was something Timberlake was keen to watch out for, going so far as to consult Andrew Niccol, the film’s writer, director and producer, about paring down the script. “There were some scenes that I remember Amanda and I would go to Andrew and say, ‘We live in this world and this world seems like everyday for us,’" Timberlake explains. "If there was anything, I felt like we would take lines out because it’s always nicer I think when you can play out a scene and it can read without dialogue.” Saves more time for the running, shooting and driving, at least.
The Occupy Wall Street connection
A major theme of “In Time” is taking on an elite that controls all the resources in society — something that coincidentally finds great resonance with the current Occupy Wall Street movement as the film hits theaters. Of course it was all planned this way, jokes Amanda Seyfried, claiming that Niccol “actually said when we were shooting the movie, ‘They’re going to occupy Wall Street like, the next year when this comes out. So I think this is a great time to make it.’”