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Justin Timberlake on his love of the tour 'grind,' new Netflix doc

Actor and singer Justin Timberlake arrives on the red carpet for the premiere of "Justin Timberlake and The Tennessee Kids" during the 2016 Toronto International Film Festival in Toronto Tuesday, Sept. 13, 2016. For all his career ventures - boy-band heartthrob, successful solo artist, "Saturday Night Live" favourite, film star - nothing gets to Timberlake quite like putting his heart onstage night after night. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
October 11, 2016 - 11:24 AM

TORONTO - For all his career ventures — boy-band heartthrob, successful solo artist, "Saturday Night Live" favourite, film star — Justin Timberlake says there's nothing quite like putting his heart into onstage performances night after night.

Hence the tears in his eyes at the end of his new concert documentary, "Justin Timberlake + The Tennessee Kids," available on Netflix Tuesday.

"I think it was just a realization of, 'Wow, touring is unlike anything else you can do,'" the nine-time Grammy Award winner said in an interview at the Toronto International Film Festival, where the doc made its world premiere.

"You make a movie, you work for a certain amount of time and then you're completely exonerated from that. But touring, it's much more of a marathon than you can imagine and every time when it gets to the end, you're sort of like, 'Wow.' You know that it's time to move on but your body is so used to (it), your muscle has memorized so much of one thing.

"So it was just a really nice chapter of my life."

Oscar-winning director Jonathan Demme helmed the doc, which sees Timberlake performing with his bandmates and backup dancers in Las Vegas, at the end of their "20/20 Experience" tour.

A tuxedo-clad Timberlake delivers an impressive array of dance moves and belts out his hits — from "SexyBack" to "Rock Your Body" and "Take Back the Night" — on the slick set at the MGM Grand Garden Arena.

"This was January 1st and 2nd of 2015. So much has happened since then in my life," said Timberlake, who had a son with actress Jessica Biel in April 2015.

"To go back to it, there was more nostalgia and appreciation for the grind that we were on and how everybody every night just turned out these amazing, beautiful performances.

"I think that's my favourite part of the film, is that Jonathan so adeptly captures the relationship between all of the musicians and all of the dancers and myself onstage."

Demme, whose other credits include "The Silence of the Lambs" and the Talking Heads concert film "Stop Making Sense," said the project was confirmation for him that Timberlake "really is the terrific guy he seems to be and what a hard-working fellow this is."

"My head keeps going through all the work that went into it," he added. "Forget writing the songs, forget gathering the band together. But the staging of that show, the creation of this extraordinary visual matrix that's going on up there, always changing, the lighting is always changing.

"That's one thing that for me makes the movie great is, no two songs look alike. They're very distinct, visually."

Timberlake is clearly passionate about the visual details in his show.

"It is the opportunity to live out the idea of synesthesia," he said of the lighting.

"It's like when you hear a song, what colour is that song? We go to a museum and we look at paintings and we think that we're just looking at them but there's so much more to the texture when you see it in person. Obviously not a lot of them you're supposed to touch but you get to imagine how it would feel if you touched it.

"So you get the opportunity to live out the song 'Future Sex Love Sounds.' There's nothing yellow about that song. That song is blue and purple and blue and purple together and red with some chrome thrown in."

News from © The Canadian Press, 2016
The Canadian Press

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