If he lands any more movie roles like his latest, Joey Fatone just might say bye, bye, bye to 'NSYNC.
"I'm singing with two topless dancers, side-by-side," Fatone said of his role as a lounge singer in "The Cooler." "That was always a nice thing, these girls with just paint on their bodies, although I ruined that wholesome thing I had going."
Fatone plays Johnny Cappella and sings a Frank Sinatra tune in the movie, about an unlucky gambler (William H. Macy) who is hired by a casino owner (Alec Baldwin) to cool off other betters (see "Joey Fatone To Play Lounge Singer In 'Cool' New Flick").
"The Cooler" premiered Tuesday at the Los Angeles Film Festival but is not due in wide release until fall. Fatone has no other roles lined up, but he's been auditioning and could end up working on another one of Lance Bass' projects.
"I hope it's a little bit of everything," he said of the parts he's pursuing. "[Definitely] more ensemble acting. I'm not really one of those leading men kind of things."
He is the leading man on the small screen, however, as host of the new performance contest program "Fame." And although it's been taking up most of his auditioning time, Fatone loves the gig.
"It's a lot of fun for me because I'm on the other side and I don't have to worry about judging anyone, I don't have to worry about picking the winners, I don't have to worry about dancing or singing myself, so it's a different side than what I'm used to doing," he said. "It's a little bit different from your every other reality contest show, whatever the hell you want to call it. It's a lot of fun because it has to do with that triple threat: singing and dancing and having a personality, showmanship."
Fatone, who chats with the contestants about the music business off camera, sympathizes with the performers for being instantly thrust into the spotlight, but he said he believes the benefits of shows like "Fame" and "American Idol" outweigh the drawbacks.
"It's nice because you see what America is looking for, what the American people want to see more of," he said.
As for Fatone's prediction on how "Fame" will end: "With America voting, you never know which way it's going to go."