You’ve got three minutes and three questions. That’s tight but… this IS Justin Timberlake and 20/20 has EXCLUSIVE face-to-face time with him at the William Rast/Viva International Casino Night benefitting The Shriners Hospitals for Children and Prevent Blindness America. Timing is crucial. Security is extreme. Chat-time is slotted right before Timberlake’s due on a makeshift stage to accept a $50,000 donation from Viva’s Frank Rescigna. 

Here’s hoping our first question is entertaining enough to buy more casual chat for the next two inquiries, William Rast as a lifestyle and eyewear brand and Justin’s dedication to the charities involved.

“So. Justin… Am I as tall in person as you pictured me to be?”

Icebreaker. The “interview” scenario is immediately dismantled by Timberlake as he ushers us to a seat screened away from security and PR reps, graciously chatting. Here’s Justin:

“There have been some charities and priorities in my life rooted to my family’s values, especially as it relates to my uncle, my father’s brother, who was always tuned in to the physical and emotional needs of adopted children. You mentioned lifestyle when you were starting to talk about the William Rast brand but there’s something called real life out there that’s far more important than style and clothing and looking cool.

 “Life is about looking at yourself and others with dignity. It’s about being given a chance and then having the mental tools to deal with those chances for yourself and others.

“I come from a middle class family but I’ve always been aware that even that ‘middle’ can be unattainable for others so we really have a duty to help others get to a place where they impact the world in a positive way. It isn’t a question of just giving. It’s giving back. And that can domino. I have a real privilege. The world watches me and the moves I make. Shouldn’t I make some of those moves in a way that does some good for others?”

As for Timberlake’s connection and feel for his part in the William Rast brand? “Hey. You have on Rast jeans! See… The brand isn’t demographic bound and breed. It’s about great clothes that look great and make you feel that way. Same thing with the sunglasses. Cool shades. And equally cool glasses.”

At that point Timberlake asks for an exact pronunciation of the word “ophthalmic.” He carefully uses that pronunciation during the check presentation.

And… he has one last question for 20/20. “Do you think you could show me where the restrooms are without disturbing the crowd out there?” No problem. Good guy.

 —James J. Spina