Boffo news for Variety: Justin Timberlake is a reader.
In an interview with GQ, Timberlake slammed the venerable movie trade magazine, as well as music trade Billboard, for writing negative articles about two of his 2013 projects: the box-office flop "Runner Runner," and the second part of his "20/20 Experience" album.
"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," Timberlake said, referring to a Variety piece titled, "Why Justin Timberlake Should Stop Acting." (Billboard, in a similar fashion, wrote that "The 20/20 Experience - 2 of 2" was overindulgent.)
"I have the number one album this week, and I shouldn't have released it? Come on, man. You sound like a dickhead," Timberlake continued. "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."
"Runner Runner," which starred Timberlake and Ben Affleck, was a bust upon its release in October. The film earned less than $20 million in North America, but did better overseas, where it grossed $42 million.
In his piece for Variety, New York film editor Ramin Setoodeh wrote that Timberlake's "Runner Runner" performance was akin to "a lost celebrity hosting 'Saturday Night Live' who can't find the teleprompter." The column prompted Deadline.com editor Mike Fleming to lash out at his corporate cousin (PMC owns both Variety and Deadline).
"You could run a reactionary ban-this-actor story every week based on what film craps out at the box office," Fleming wrote in a defense of Timberlake. "Actors will always have films on their resumes where they wish they could take a mulligan, and I guess it’s no different for journalists who cover them."
For more on Timberlake, including a great anecdote about his basketball-playing prowess on the set of "Runner Runner," head to GQ.