Justin Timberlake once promised to have us naked by the end of this song — but more often than not, he’s getting naked before the end of his movies. Check out the trailer for the multitalented performer’s new film Trouble with the Curve, and you’ll notice the clip pointedly includes a scene in which the man who brought sexy back strips to his skivvies. This moment is just the tip of the naked iceberg.
The trend began in 2006’s Alpha Dog, JTim’s very first feature film. In it, the onetime Mickey Mouse Club member disrobes to reveal a taut torso covered in fake tattoos. Shirtless scenes with Christina Ricci in Black Snake Moan (2006) and a goofy ’70s ‘stache in The Love Guru (2008) followed. (Man, remember The Love Guru?) Heck, Timberlake even took it off in The Social Network (2010), his breakout “serious” role. And for the record, Boo Boo, the character he voiced in 2010’s Yogi Bear, doesn’t wear a shirt either.
N’Sync’s onetime frontman kept everything on during an uncomfortable sex scene in Bad Teacher (2011) — but he made up for his modesty in Friends With Benefits (2011), a movie that features more Timberpecs (and other parts) than any before.
After Friends With Benefits, Timberlake told Vanity Fair that he doesn’t see himself getting “butt-naked” in a movie ever again: “I only did it because I’m young now, and everything’s where it’s supposed to be,” he explained. “I figured this is the time, before gravity gets the best of me.” Thankfully, the star hasn’t made a similar rule about shirtless scenes; if he did, he might never be cast again.
In fact, Timberlake bares his chest so often that he might be encroaching on territory firmly staked out by Hollywood’s other naked knight: Channing Tatum. Sure, Magic Mike has enough nudity to give Tatum a comfortable lead — but with time, Timberlake could abs-solutely catch up.
If nothing else, I think we can agree that we’re all winners here. Except those poor shirt companies begging for business from a star.