Justin Timberlake is pop's longstanding triple-threat of choice, and between NSYNC, his solo career, and his acting reel, he's got a stacked résumé to prove it. The Hollywood Reporter sat down with him before the Oscars — which he'll be attending as a nominee for the first time — and focused on his cinematic chops, which started way back when he and a bunch of kids who'd grow up to be hugely successful — like, oh, Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, and Keri Russell, to name a few — got their first big break on The All-New Mickey Mouse Club.
It turns out that one of his fellow Oscar nominees, Ryan Gosling, was his roomie back when they were both cutting their performance teeth on the Disney program in the '90s — and that the two haven't kept in touch in spite of their shared beginning.
"We aren't the closest of friends, for whatever reason," he told the THR reporter. Fair enough, but Timberlake went on to praise The Mickey Mouse Club for kicking off the careers of some meteoric talents.
"We were at the age when you just soak in everything," he continued. "We were taking acting classes, music classes, dance classes. We were learning how coverage and editing and cinematography work. And being put in front of a live audience, learning how to engage the crowd to get a laugh. Honestly, it was like SNL for children."
Even if they're not schmoozing together at the Academy Awards come February 26, at least we can credit Disney for seeing potential in young Gosling and Timberlake and turning 'em both into contenders.