In Twentieth Century Fox’s new sci-fi crime thriller, Justin Timberlake is accused of murder and on the run with a hostage — Amanda Seyfried — in a future where time is literally money. The two Hollywood celebrities sat down with Buzzine’s Roxanna Bina to talk about the fascinating concept of the film, becoming action heroes, and what they would do if they had all the time in the world or just one day left…
Roxanna Bina: Do you think, in a way, this film is an homage to Logan’s Run, and did you get inspired by that movie and these characters?
Justin Timberlake: I think that’s more a question for Andrew Niccol, but I don’t know that it’s an homage to Logan’s Run. I think there are similarities with all sci-fi movies. [Laughs] I could probably name two or three that I could find likeness with. But I think that’s a very interesting movie for the time that it came out, and I don’t mind people saying that it is an homage to that because I thought that was a great movie. But I think that there was a lot to this movie, and the way that I sort of became really infatuated with it was I read the script and, for two or three days, I couldn’t stop thinking about the whole concept of the film and what it would be like to live day to day, literally – to only have one day to live. And I think if you asked anyone that, you’d get some really interesting answers. How would you live if you only had 23 hours – less than a day?
RB: It’s quite a change of role for you – this movie. Do you see yourself going the route of the action hero or the new Jason Bourne of sorts?
JT: I don’t think so. I don’t look at this role as an action hero. Like I said, this movie has a lot to it. It’s a thriller in a lot of ways, and I love that this character was just an everyday man. I love that the action in the film is very real – there aren’t car chases for the sake of car chases. I think it’s just a guy who’s had enough and fights back, and I like the simple idea of that.
RB: What are the themes you enjoyed exploring in this movie?
JT: Like I said, if you had a day to live, how would you live? And I liked the fact that the best sci-fi movies, in my opinion – the ones where you’re watching a movie and it’s set in the future, but the future is not that different from present day. I love those movies the most because I feel like I can grab ahold of the idea a lot easier, and I relate to it a lot more.
RB: Beyond the thrill of the ride of the movie, what are the themes of this movie? What is the underlying message behind this movie?
JT: I think this movie says a lot about our class system, and I think that you have a concept like the fact that, if you run out of time, you die, but also that you could die in the ways of the world also. I think it creates a much more severe life, and to show that, you walk out of the film saying there are places in the world where life is literally not far from how we portrayed it in the movie, and I think you ask a lot of questions.
RB: What was the biggest challenge facing you shooting this movie?
JT: The biggest challenge was so much happens, literally from moment to moment, so shooting out of sequence is always tough because you kind of have this thing where you walk into a scene where you say, “Where was I right before this?” but you literally had to be conscious of that probably four times as much in this movie, because you’re literally moving from moment to moment to moment.
RB: What would you do if you could buy all the time in the world?
JT: I would probably give some away to those who didn’t have any?
RB: What do you think time could buy?
JT: Hopefully peace of mind. I think time is the most valuable commodity we have, as human beings. Time and health, so I don’t know. Hopefully a little serenity.
Roxanna Bina: This is quite a change of role for you. Do you see yourself going the route of the action hero?
Amanda Seyfried: I think I’m always trying to look for diversity. I just don’t want to get bored doing any one thing. But it is fun – this is much more of an action thriller than Red Riding Hood was, and the concept is just unbelievable. It is like a futuristic world that we don’t quite know, and that’s always fun – to try to create a character within a world that I’m not familiar with…although there are so many similarities, it’s easy to relate to in certain ways as well. I think that’s why I wanted to do it so much – because it was such a high concept, and it was so stylized that I had to play Sylvia. There’s a great shift that happens very early on for her, and it was fun reading that shift, and then being able to create that.
RB: What are the themes you enjoyed exploring with In Time, and what is this movie about, beyond the thrill of the ride?
AS: It’s about how our classes are so separate and this is how we actually live – our world – and I think it’s scary because this is so much more literal. In this movie, the poor have no time to live and they live day by day, and it makes for a much more exciting lifestyle, of course. It’s very scary and depressing in some ways, but the rich have all the time in the world and they can be immortal, which is also a really depressing idea, and they don’t do much at all – they just try to keep themselves healthy, which is represented as being very boring. So there’s just such a separation between the two, and I think, in this world, it would be so much better if the people with the money were able to share it more freely, which doesn’t seem as easy, for whatever reason – greed or just…I don’t know – anything. But I think it reflects on how our society behaves, and that’s scary, but I think it’s also gonna remind a lot of people, after they see it, that there is a way to kind of merge the two.
RB: What would you do if you could buy all the time in the world?
AS: I don’t know. I think I’d be overwhelmed. I know, if I had one day to live, what I would do, but I don’t know, if I had all the time in the world, what I would do, and I never really thought about it because it seems too daunting.
RB: What would you do if you only had one day to live?
AS: I would just try to get everybody I love in one place.
RB: What do you think time can buy?
AS: Time can buy comfort, I think, and commitment. I think people wouldn’t be so afraid of committing to something if they knew how much time they had. Maybe that’s wrong. Maybe that’s bullshit, but I feel like people are so scared, maybe of having too much time, which is why they can’t commit, so maybe not. I think time would buy…I don’t know. Comfort, I guess.