Entertainment & Arts

Justin Timberlake isn’t ‘cool,’ but is a GQ Man of the Year

Justin Timberlake joins actor Matthew McConaughey, comedian Will Ferrell, rapper Kendrick Lamar and the late “Sopranos” star James Gandolfini as GQ magazine’s 2013 Men of the Year.

Timberlake was bestowed the magazine’s "#Hashtag of the year” honor, Lamar was rapper of the year, McConaughey was the magazine’s leading man of the year, Ferrell was funnyman of the year and Gandolfini was honored with a tribute cover on the mag’s five-cover 18th annual edition.

The “Suit & Tie” crooner has had quite the 2013, indeed, stating that he doesn’t see himself “as someone who’s ever going to be defined by one moment.”

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The 32-year-old ‘N Sync alum pulled off a successful comeback with the release of “The 20/20 Experience” and all its hit singles and tour, staged “Timberweek” with late night host Jimmy Fallon, performed at the White House, hosted “Saturday Night Live” for the fifth time (earning himself another Emmy nomination), released the second part of his album, #hashtagged his way back into our hearts, reunited with ‘N Sync at the MTV Video Music Awards and starred in Ben Affleck’s “Runner Runner.”

“I’ve been doing this professionally since I was 10,” “The Mickey Mouse Club” alum told the mag. “If entertainment years were dog years, man, I’d be like Gandhi. I’d be like 250 years old.”

But still he asserts that he isn’t cool. (Wha!?)

“Listen, I’m not cool,” he said. “Being cool is about keeping your blood pressure steady. So no. Don’t be cool. Be passionate. Be dedicated. Be tenacious. Be uncompromising. Be pissed. Be happy. Be sad.”


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This coming from the triple threat who’s become a golden boy of the sketch-comedy circuit and is married to Jessica Biel ...

“I’ve made a career out of doing things that I should not be doing. I wasn’t cool about it,” he said. “Because being cool would have meant I passed up on those opportunities. If you do that, it’s because you’re afraid. And what are you afraid of? You know?”

Still, he’s getting these accolades despite the “double whammy” that came later in the year upon the box-office bomb of “Runner Runner” and the release of the second part of his album, “The 20/20 Experience Part 2.” He started off his interview with GQ’s Amy Wallace on the wrong foot, giving her these cutting quotes, which he later apologized for.

“Sometimes I find it funny that I’ve been able to acquire the patience it takes to be kind to people in our business. Because sometimes I just want to ... kill everybody,” he said of the critiques.

“This face. This recognizable face that you work so hard to get — not because you want the recognition but because you know you’re made to do it,” he added. “The movie didn’t do well at the box office, so I should quit? Hold on a second. If I was somebody else, you wouldn’t have said that. I have the number one album this week, and I shouldn’t have released it? Come on, man. You sound like a .... It just shocked me because, like, you’re trade magazines. None of your opinions count. And by the way, none of you can do it.”

But he composed himself later in the interview, Wallace said, and delivered a handful of observations that made us fall in love with him all over again.

As for the other Men of the Year, GQ deputy editor Michael Hainey took to the “Today” show Tuesday to talk about them. 


Hainey called McConaughey — star of critically acclaimed “Mud” and “Dallas Buyers Club” — as a “full-on ‘McCona-ssance.”

“He’s gone from that guy who played bongos naked to now, like, full-on leading man.”

PHOTOS: Justin Timberlake’s career in pictures

Lamar is “the rapper who stole the crown this year,” Hainey said. The “Good Kid, M.A.A.D City” rapper went platinum in 2012, opened for Kanye West and made headlines when his explicit lyrics leaked online and when he feuded with rapper Drake after the MTV VMAs. He was also named No. 1 MC in the country by MTV.

“Anchorman” star Ferrell is joined by his broadcast alter-ego Ron Burgundy on the mag’s cover. The comedian has appeared in several viral videos this year (a Lakers security guard, a member of the USC Spirit of Troy marching band) and took the stage at the Emmy Awards in September with his three sons.

As for Gandolfini, the magazine paid tribute to the late “Sopranos” star and also noted that his work in the indie film “Enough Said” with Julia Louis-Dreyfus also has him as a potential award-season contender.

GQ’s editor-in-chief Jim Nelson feted the men Monday with a private dinner at Carbone in New York City with guests including Timberlake, his wife, Jessica Biel, actor Ethan Hawke, Willie Geist, Questlove, Ronan Farrow, Patrick Stewart, Emily Ratajkowski, ASAP Rocky, Tunde Adebimpe, Neil Barrett, David Chang, Ronan Farrow,Taran Killam, Mark McNairy, Eniko Mihalik, Alyssa Miller, Stephen Moyer, Frank Muytjens, James Purefoy, Kehinde Wiley and Italo Zucchelli.

GQ’s Men of the Year issue hits newsstands Nov. 19.



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