MD = Michael Dequina; Q = Other press; LB = Lance Bass; EC = Emmanuelle Chriqui
MD: We're deprived of Joey; we're upset.
Q: Where did Joey go?
LB: Joey... no one ever knows where he is.
LB: Sometimes you don't want to know where he is. [laughs]
MD [to Lance]: Did you always want to be an actor? Was this something you always wanted to move on to from music?
LB: I've always wanted to be an actor; I had a passion for acting before I did music. I had a passion for both, but I thought acting would come before music, but it didn't. Music just kind of fell in my lap. I lived back in Mississippi where there's no opportunity to do anything [in music], so I just theater and that type of stuff.
MD: That's right, you were the last person to come into the mix with *NSYNC.
Q [to Lance]: Did you have the same problem asking out girls as [your character] Kevin did when you were younger?
LB: I don't know--not quite where I choke like Kevin does. I'm one of those people that just didn't realize that the girl was interested. I was always the friend, the "Oh, he's so cute! He's like my brother!" So I was always like the brother-type figure with girls. But eventually, I would become friends, and then we'd realize there was something there.
Q: So you didn't have any songs written about your girl problems?
LB: [laughs] No.
Q: Emmanuelle, you've done some TV work in Canada, so you've had more on-camera work time than these guys. Did you give them some tips?
EC: No. When we were on set--specifically, Lance and I and the director [Eric Bross]--we just really worked well together. We would rehearse before the day to shoot whichever scene, and it was just important to us that Lance and I would talk after every scene. We'd be like, "Did that go right?" or "Let's try it this way"--but always just keeping it real so that it felt real.
Q: So was it a good experience for everybody?
LB: Oh, definitely.
Q: A fun set?
LB: A very fun set. And this was the first film I did, so I learned a lot from everybody.
Q: And you got your own production company [A Happy Place]. Do you have anything in the pipeline for you?
LB: We do--not for me. I definitely don't have anything in the pipeline for me, but I'll definitely just produce. I have a couple of things we're working on. One's a Holocaust movie--that won't be for another few years; it's going to take a while to do. And another one is called Superdudes, which is real fun; it's like Pokémon for adults.
LB: We're in the middle of selling it as a television show. It's a real thing going on right now on the Internet; there's like 6000 Superdudes. You create your own superhero--you put your face; you send it in; they create your own; and you fight each other. It's like Pokémon. Now we're trying to sell it to Disney or Fox Family or somewhere like that.
Q [to Lance]: Do you enjoy this side project that you have as much as you do performing?
LB: I do. I enjoy everything that I try to tackle, or I wouldn't be doing it. I love entertainment; that is what I'm born for, and I will try to attack anything that has to do with entertainment.
Q: So what do you like better, acting or performing?
LB: It's different; it's totally, totally different. When I'm on stage, I love it, and it's my life. Music is more of my life than acting is; it's my first priority. But also when I'm acting, it's amazing. I woke up early every morning and was up late nights, and I would enjoy going to work.
Q [to Lance]: What advice do you have for teens trying to get into the music industry?
LB: It was a dream of mine, and you just believe in it so much that eventually you take baby steps to where it became true: finding the right manager, finding the right opportunities, always going on different auditions--just trying everything you can just to learn. You go on those little bitty things, and you do these little, nitpicky things that really make no sense at the time, but it really develops your character. You learn so much from it that you look back two years later, and you're like, "Wow, I'm glad I did all this."
Q [to Lance]: As far as future roles, what kind of characters do you want to play next?
LB: For the next one, I definitely don't want a depressing character like this. [laughs] He was a little too down for me. I either want to do something in comedy or action. I think I'm leaning more toward action for the next one.
EC: Yeah! [laughs]
LB: I've been taking Tae-Bo. [laughs]
MD [to Lance]: How did you decide on this film in particular? I imagine there were a number of other offers; I remember there were announcements about other projects you were going to do with the other four [*NSYNC members], like Grease 3. How did you decide on this one?
LB: This was perfect. We actually decided on this one for our first Happy Place project; I wasn't attached to it [as the star] at all. It was cool because for our first film we wanted a good quality movie for everybody--every age, every race--and it was perfect. It was an R-rated script, but we wanted to bring it down to a PG because we wanted to utilize athletes or musicians in the movie. So when we were going to cast it, I figured I had some time off, and I could play this Kevin character. That's basically how it developed. It was given to us by some friends of ours at Tapestry Films; it was a short film called On the L, and we loved it so much that it was just the right thing.
MD: So it started with you, and then Joey was brought in?
LB: I called Joey, and Joey and I have always wanted to do a movie together. For six years we've been talking about writing little screenplays and that type of stuff, and eventually we knew that if we ever had time, we'd do something. I called him, and I was like, "We're gonna have the time; let's do it. You're going to play this character, Rod; you can't say no."
MD: How did the cameo with [fellow *NSYNC members] Chris [Kirkpatrick] and Justin [Timberlake] at the end come about, and where was JC [Chasez]?
LB: JC was actually up in Toronto. He was going to be a bartender, but the scene got cut; we didn't have time to shoot it that day. He was on the set, but we never used him. I'm kind of glad because I didn't want anyone else in this movie; it would confuse people, and it would make [the movie] look cheesy. But the end credits was perfect.
MD: It was.
EC: That was so much fun.
LB: We wanted to do something funny, and that [skit is] us; that's our humor right there, and it totally came out of us.
Q: Did Justin pick that José Eber hat?
LB: He did pick that hat. We had some styles, but definitely he went for that hat.
Q: If either of you were in the actual situation [in the movie], would either one of you had said, "Hey, what's your number?" or would you have just shied away?
LB: I would've gotten the number.
EC: The thing is that it was tricky because had he asked for the number, I would've given it to him; I wouldn't have pursued for the number because I was still in a relationship.
LB: Oh, so you have morals!
EC: So that would have made it tricky. But as far as the characters go, I think that she was hoping that he would ask her, and he choked.
Q: If you had been in a relationship personally, you would give him your number?
EC: Would I give him my number?
LB: Just to be friends.
EC: [laughs] Yeah, just to be friends. That's the thing--things were on the rocks, and if I met this boy, and we were going to be friends, and there's a little thing... yeah, I would give my number. I would make it clear [that we would be friends].
Q: What's the most romantic thing that someone's ever done for you?
LB: [pause] Cook dinner, maybe. I don't know. I'm usually the one being romantic.
[Everyone goes "Aww"]
EC: I did a romantic thing for you.
EC: I mean romantic in a friendship way. It was the picture frame that I gave you.
LB: That was really nice; that's right.
EC: That was romantic. You want to know what it was?
[Everyone goes "Yes!"]
LB: They really want to know now. [laughs]
EC: [laughs] It was this silver picture frame. There was a lot of "first times" on this movie: it was Lance's first movie; it was A Happy Place's first film; and it was my first real leading lady [role]. So it made it a really special set. I got him a silver picture frame, and in it his assistant Beth took this amazing picture of us where we were both in costume, and there was the Chicago skyline behind us, and this Panavision camera right in the corner--it was this perfect picture. So I put it in the frame and then on the bottom inscribed, it says: "Look up... XOXO Abbey" It was like for our characters; it was romantic from Abbey. [laughs]
[Everyone goes "Aww"]
LB: It's the only picture up in my house right now; it's on the fireplace mantle.
Q: What was the most difficult scene to film?
EC: The most nerve-wracking was the Presidents scene.
LB: Yeah, that was pretty bad, where we had to name the Presidents--and you had to name way more than me. [laughs]
Q: How many times did you hit that one?
LB: Not that many.
EC: Not that many, and we didn't ever screw it up; we always had it. It was weird. We were stressing; Lance and I were like, "OK, you guys, can we get cue cards?" [laughs]
LB: I don't know how we did it. I have the worst memory in the world. The worst. And they sprung this on me, and I was like, "No!" [laughs]
Q: If all of this would end tomorrow, would you be able to handle that fact and move on, go on to a different career?
LB: It would be very depressing. This is my life; I love entertaining, and I could never see myself doing anything else.
EC: Me too. I love other things, but this is my passion, for sure.
Q: What has been the best and worst advice you've gotten?
LB: The best advice I've gotten, especially in this business, is to really know when to relax and when to say when. People are always going to be in your face going, "Do this, do this, do this," "Oh, but if you do this..." But I've learned how to say no. That's one of the things I've learned because I never used to say no; I was always "Yes, yes, yes." The worst advice? "Sign this contract; I'll be your business manager."
MD: Oh, right.
EC: Oh, God.
LB: "It's normal to take 90% of everything."
EC: I have to say the best advice has just been to stay true to yourself, always. That just means that with every situation that comes your way, really, really take a look at it, and is everything OK in your heart. If it isn't, chances are it's not going to work out. That's a big one for me. Worst advice advice I've ever gotten was... [long pause] To be honest, I'm stumped a little. I don't think I've really had that much bad advice. [laughs]
LB: Well, that's good. Not that you know of. [laughs]
EC: [laughs] Nothing's popping out in my head.
Q: What would you guys say to teens who are terrified about the world situation today, and do you guys have any personal experience with the New York incident?
LB: Yeah, I've lost people. It's difficult days right now. It's sad to say that it took something like this to bring everyone together. I think the world is as close as it's ever been right now, and it's a beautiful thing. I think as entertainers, it's up to us to shine a little happiness as much as we can. That's why I love this movie coming out the time that it is.
LB: It makes you escape for an hour and a half, and it makes you feel good. Same thing with music--we're continually doing music and concerts. Basically, what I would say to kids right now is to talk about it, really get to know what's going on, and to go on with life. Just like President Bush has said: we all have to go on because that's going to make us strong. We can still watch out for ourselves, but as a closer unit we are going to go on and make a better future.
EC: Absolutely. Just to add to what Lance said, it's also really important to educate ourselves, to take this as an eye-opening experience in that we cannot live like this anymore. America, our generation especially, has been so innocent to all this stuff. Now that this has been shown to us, we have a responsibility to educate ourselves and to be aware of the things that are going on. Yes, [we need] to move on with our lives, but not forget it, not pretend it's not happening--deal with it. As entertainers, as Lance said, we have a major responsibility because if you look back in history, the arts is what carried a nation through. Hopefully in a lot of ways that could change the face of film: less violence in film, less brutal things to watch, and more things from the heart and dealing with people and communication because that's got to be the message right now.
Q: So do you guys want to talk a little about the final kiss scene?
Q: You know the teen girls want to read about that.
LB: I'll admit it, we were going for MTV Best Kiss.
MD: Remember it's just an honor to be nominated for that.
LB: Yeah, exactly. We got it in the bag, though. [laughs] No, but it was cool. It's strange when a thousand people are cheering and screaming at you when you're doing it, and "turn your head this way!" When you're doing it, in a way it feels unnatural because you're like, "I can't move my head here!" but you're also in your character, so you're making the passion that's coming out. It was cool; it was a great scene.
EC: It is. And the circumstances really fed the scene. How I was standing up on the bridge, and I could see Lance, in character as Kevin, running up with that "Oh my God, she showed up!" look, and the paparazzi and the fans, the people hooting and hollering--you really are living that moment, so it is really a fantasy. I think that the weirdest part was that in my experience when you make a movie, usually the kissing scene is like the first or second day. You get it out of the way--you don't know the person; there's no history; it's really just technical. Lance and I, we hung out; we became such good friends. So it was like, "Oh, we got to kiss now!"
LB: So we were laughing throughout half of it.
EC: So much; it was really funny.
MD: So how many takes did that take?
LB: There were a lot of angles. [laughs]
EC: A lot of Binaca and a lot of Chapstick. [laughs]
LB: And you had that gloss or whatever on your lips; it was so sticky.
MD: So was there a long preparation time before you started shooting? You mentioned how you hung out together.
LB: There wasn't. She was on the set. We didn't have many scenes together except toward the end of the movie, and we filmed most of that in Chicago. [Kevin] was searching for this girl, so Kevin and Abbey never saw each other except in Chicago, and that was the last thing we shot. So we got to hang out the whole time in Toronto for a month just becoming really good friends.
EC: Just hanging out.
LB: So there's definitely chemistry there when you see us. You know that--bam!--we're totally into each other.
Q [to Emmanuelle]: You're from Canada, right? Were you familiar with Toronto?
EC: That's where I'm from.
Q: So you could show him around.
EC: [laughs] Yeah, totally.
MD [to Emmanuelle]: So what's next for you after this?
EC: Well, there's a couple of things in the works. With the recent tragedies and the strike that was pending earlier, the industry is really quite slow. There's a couple of things in the works; I can't really say what yet, but we'll see what happens.
MD: Nothing in the can right now waiting to come out?
EC: No, this is it.
MD: And Lance, what about the next *NSYNC album? Will you or Joey write some of the stuff since last time it was all JC and Justin, and then Chris wrote the song on this soundtrack.
EC: And sing more! [laughs]
LB: I write. I wrote three songs for the last album that I didn't submit because I was so embarrassed to submit them. [laughs] I'm just not a good writer; I'm not. [Joey and I] love writing treatments for the videos, and we might write treatments for movies, that type of stuff--that's just what we're good at. The other guys--I don't see how people write music; it's so hard. We just put our harmonies on, and there we are. [laughs] And we tour. This just gives us another creative outlet. To do this acting really challenges us like writing for the other guys challenges them.
Q: Could you talk a little about the new video ["Gone"] that you have out now. The opening scene for it--where did that come from?
LB: We came up with the idea in the tour. We do "Gone," and it's all silent film. We wanted to do a video [that was] all silent film; we wanted to do something different for every video we do. So that's where it came in; we're all like silent film at a costume party, and that's where it starts off, being crazy stupid. The whole video was going to be that way, but the record company was so dead set against doing the whole video like a silent film that they wanted "real time" stuff. So we kept it all black and white, and Herb Ritts did it, and he's an amazing photographer and director. It's just a beautiful, beautiful video.
Q: Did you guys enjoy singing "Gone" in Spanish, and who translated the song?
LB: A friend of ours, Alfredo. He works with Gloria Estefan, and we've done several things with her. We're really close with their camp in Miami, and every Spanish thing we do, we always to to them, and they translate.
Junket Roundtable Transcripts
On the Line: Lance Bass & Emmanuelle Chriqui/© Michael Dequina