Justin Timberlake talks R-rated 'Bad Teacher,' putting body 'on the line for comedy'
Justin Timberlake says he and Jason Segel, his co-star in the R-rated film "Bad Teacher," "put their bodies on the line for comedy."
In the movie, Cameron Diaz stars as Elizabeth Halsey, a foul-mouthed junior high teacher who tries to seduce a wealthy substitute teacher Scott Delacorte (Justin Timberlake) after her sugar daddy dumps her. Her co-worker Amy Squirrel (Lucy Punch) also has her eye on Delacorte while the school's gym teacher, Russell Gettis (Jason Segel ) makes advances on Diaz's character.
Segel famously showcased more than his comedic chops in the 2008 film "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" and Timberlake won praise for his raunchy 2006 "Saturday Night Live" skit "(Expletive) in a Box."
"It was pretty obvious from 'Saturday Night Live' that I like to make fun of myself," Timberlake told OnTheRedCarpet.com special correspondent George Pennacchio of KABC Television (see video above - spoiler alert). "I get a kick out of it as much as everyone else does ... You're looking at two people who put their bodies on the line for comedy."
"We were born without a sense of pride or shame, apparently, which really helps for comedy," Segel added.
"Bad Teacher" was written by Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg, who have collaborated on 15 scripts for "The Office," as well as the screenplays for "Year One" and the upcoming "Ghostbusters III" movie.
The actors both enjoyed the R-rating factor, which allowed them to go wherever they wanted with their sometimes unruly characters.
"There's a lot of improv in the kind of comedies we make," Segel said. "To try and remain conscious of the rating is almost impossible when you're improving. So to know that we have the freedom to do anything, that it was going to be an R-rating film, was really, really nice."
Even though they enjoyed swearing on the "Bad Teacher" set, both gentlemen were wary of their influence on some of their young co-stars.
"I actually was pretty concious of that, because the kids were present when you were saying some pretty vile stuff," Segel said. That made me a little uncomfortable... there's a scene where I give the international sign for female oral sex and it was packed with 11 or 12 year old kids while I was doing that. That made me very uncomfortable, so I asked that they all have to look away while I did that."
Diaz was romantically involved with Timberlake in real life from 2003 until 2006. The actress is currently dating New York Yankees baseball player Alex Rodriguez, aka A-Rod.
Timberlake went on to date actress Jessica Biel. In March, the two called it quits.
Timberlake rose to fame as a member of the boy band N'Sync before launching his solo career and has taken home six Grammy Awards and two Emmy Awards. His first two albums each sold over 7 million copies. He has made headlines for his high-profile relationships with Britney Spears, Biel and Diaz.
Segel rose to fame after appearing on Judd Apatow's TV series "Freaks and Geeks" opposite Seth Rogen and James Franco. Aside from "Forgetting Sarah Marshall," Segel also appeared in the movies "Knocked Up" and "I Love You Man." He also stars in the CBS sitcom "How I Met Your Mother."
Segel has been working on "The Muppets Movie" with Amy Adams, which is slated for release on November 23, 2011. There have been several spoof trailers for the film, including a 'Green Lantern' spoof trailer and a romantic comedy trailer.
"Bad Teacher" was released on Friday, June 24, 2011. Watch the trailer below.
Reporting by George Pennacchio of KABC Television and special correspondent for its entertainment show "On The Red Carpet" (check for local TV listings).