Our extended chat with the man, the legend... We submitted Britney Spears' husband to EW's Personality Test -- here's what he said about his new album, Justin Timberlake, not doing ''the whole high school thing,'' and being ''the champion''
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: First things first — can you describe the sound of your debut rap album, Playing With Fire (out Oct. 31)?
KEVIN FEDERLINE: It’s like an upbeat club record. Everything on it, you can just pretty much dance to it. It says a lot, in a fun way. It speaks for itself.
And what are your expectations for it?
I’m just looking to put it out there and get some feedback on it. I want people to listen to it as a whole instead of just one song at a time.
Why’d you name it Playing With Fire?
Because I feel like in my life, in the last couple of years, with everything that’s gone on, that’s how I feel — like I’m playing with fire. [It could also mean] things I say on there are playing with fire, the press is toying with me, so they’re playing with fire — it goes all different ways.
How do you think your life is going to change when the album comes out?
I haven’t really thought about that. I’m just really more excited to go out and perform and learn how to become this artist… I’m trying to be really focused right now. I want to make sure everything is right, that I don’t go out there and deliver something that I don’t want to be delivered.
What’d Britney say when she first heard you had signed with a label?
She was happy with that. When I got the actual album artwork and the first CD, I took it home the other night. She was very happy. She didn’t expect me to bring home an album three weeks before it came out.
We just saw you on CSI, guest starring in the Oct. 12 episode. Do you want to do anything like that again?
If it’s the right part. I love the character [a thug] they gave me.
Okay, on to the Personality Test! Finish this sentence: If your life was a drinking game, everyone would do a shot when…
My name comes out of their mouths.
Which name: Kevin Federline or K-Fed?
All of the above. Anything related.
So you think people talk about you a lot?
I’m the most talked about of anyone over the last couple of years. I think it would be a good drinking game — I would get half the world drunk and the other half would have a buzz.
What would your American Idol audition song be?
You’re going to love this one: [Justin Timberlake’s] ”SexyBack.”
I don’t know — it’s just what came to mind when you asked me.
But you’d have to perform this for the judges.
That would be good!
Is it a Justin Timberlake thing, or you just think you’re bringing sexy back?
Just sexy back. That’s all I gotta say.
Do you think you’d win the competition if you sang that song?
I’m the champion, of course.
Do you even like Justin Timberlake?
Yeah, we’re cool. It’s a good song. That’s why I’d do it. It’s No. 1 right now. If it was Jay-Z, and he was No. 1, then I’d be telling you that.
Okay, next question: In high school, I was…
A short-term student. I wound up going to get my GED and stuff. I didn’t really do the whole high school thing.
Do you regret that?
Not at all — no way. I think I learned more.
What was the last thing you bought on eBay?
I have never bought anything on eBay. Whenever I started using the computer a lot, I turned into a MySpace junkie for a while.
You go on MySpace a lot?
I haven’t in a while because I’ve been busy, but I go on there, talk to people, say what’s up. [See his MySpace page here.]
So what would you buy if you ever did go on eBay?
Maybe a nice piece of jewelry or some shoes. I’m a Nike collector.
How many pairs do you have?
Sixty, seventy. I’m going to try to auction my sneakers off on eBay, so I’m going to really have to get on it and learn how to do it. I’m going to try to put it toward a charity. Next summer, I’m going to really put it all together.
The Breakfast Club character I was most like in high school is…
It’s been a long time since I’ve seen that movie. Twelve, maybe 13 [years]. Emilio [Estevez] is the athletic dude and very determined. I can relate to that in my career. I see an athlete, they attack what they want to and they get it done. They gotta be pushed a little bit.
The Rat Pack-er I most identify with is…
Sammy [Davis Jr.], because he’s the soulful cat. He has that tap-dance solo and all that kind of stuff. Sammy had it, you know what I mean? He was a dancer, too — I can relate to that.
The A-Team member I most identify with is…
Murdoch. He was kind of like the brains.
Do you think you’re the brains in a group of people?
Of course. I’m the playmaker, that’s just the way it is.
Can you give me an example?
You could call me back in a couple of months, then I could see if my example worked.
You mean after your album’s out?
The first famous person I befriended was…
Pink. I went on tour with her for like a year [as her backup dancer]. She’s cool. She reminds me a lot of my sister.
The snack I smuggle into movie theaters is…
Everything. I’d go to McDonald’s or Popeye’s and get a two-piece chicken and fries and sneak it in.
How would you hide it, though?
Take a girl and let her put it in her bag.
So the girl is just there to hold the food?
The thing I’ve wanted to buy but am just too embarrassed…
I used to be embarrassed if I had to go to the store and buy tampons or something like that, but that’s all past tense. Once you make it through that, then you’re good.
Did you do that for Britney or for other girls?
All of the above. [Laughs]
Pick a Jessica: Simpson, Alba, Biel, or Tandy.
How come you can’t give me a B section? I say none, because my wife is a champion, too.
The worst advice I ever received was…
”Don’t do it.”
Meaning that’s the worst advice anyone could tell me — not to do something. It’s one thing if you’re going to jump off a bridge, but [it’s another] for people to tell you ”Don’t do it, don’t move to L.A.” or ”Don’t dance — why do you want to do that?”
Steve Carell or Ricky Gervais?
Steve, because he’s a pimp, dude.
Cheech or Chong?
[Right away] BOTH! You can’t separate them — they are a perfect pair.
Demi in Ghost, or Demi in Striptease?
Both. A little drama, a little sexy.
Stones or Beatles?
Wow. You’re having a hard time making decisions today.
The Beatles had their thing back in the day, and I give it up for the Stones because they’re still on stage and it’s incredible.
The person I’m most often mistaken for is…
[Commotion in the background, as he consults his friends] They’re yelling the Marlboro Man. Yeah, I think it’s f—ed up. Maybe because they tell me I smoke too much.
Tattoos: We know you got ’em! What are they of?
Pretty much my whole right forearm is for my kids [he has four, two with Spears]. My back is my favorite piece. I went to Hawaii and I got it done. It’s a Polynesian tribal belt across my back, and it has a symbol that looks like a baby sitting in a fetal position. It’s supposed to mean the creation of life. That’s my favorite, because I’m a family man, I’m all about children. That’s what I live for.
Invisibility or super-strength?
Super-strength, like the lead guy in The Incredibles. I want to toss things around!
Diaper Genie or Diaper Champ?
What’s the difference? I don’t know which one we have, all it says is ”Genie” on top. You’d better believe it, if I’ve got a stinky diaper, I’m throwing it right in there.
Salty or sweet?
A blend of the two is good. If I’m eating teriyaki chicken, I still put salsa over it.
The last time someone yelled at me was…
This morning. My children, they yell at me every morning. All of them. ”It’s time to get up!” They want to play. My children let me know when it’s happening.
No price is too high for…
Classic cars. My dad was a mechanic, so I grew up watching him fix cars… I like the old Continental with the suicide doors on it.
Do you believe in astrology?
A little bit. It seems like a fun thing for girls to do. The only reason I know of it is because I hear women asking people about their signs and stuff.
What do you order at Starbucks?
It’s been a long time, but the only thing I go there for is a Caramel Frappuccino. It’s like an early-morning milkshake.
Which comic-book hero do you most identify with?
Batman. He has a dark side to him, but yet he’s still a good guy.
He also had a Batmobile.
That, too. That’s some pimp s—.
Which Britney Spears song best describes your life?
I’d probably have to say, ”Me Against the Music” and ”Lucky.”
You’re stranded on a desert island with these four guys and you’ve run out of food. Who do you eat first: Justin Timberlake, Fred Durst, Colin Farrell, or Lance Bass?
None! I’d starve to death. Unless I could put them in a big pot and cook them at all once. I’d make stew out of all of ’em. Well, I’d let Lance go. He’s harmless.
The most underrated performer in my field is…
[He pauses for 12 seconds.] Me. Because… I don’t know. I think there are a lot of people who think I can’t do it, but I’m doing it.
When you say ”it,” what do you mean?
Meaning the career, hip-hop, everything. I feel like it’s going to take time for people to let me in. It’s hard enough. That make sense? Are you going to put that into good words for me?