This 'Popstar' Cameo Is Perfection

The new movie from The Lonely Island, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, finds Andy Samberg as a high-maintenance popstar named Conner who has hordes of fans and an enabling entourage. The movie contains a ton of cameos from celebrities, some of whom play members of Conner's team. For example, Sarah Silverman is Conner's publicist, Tim Meadows is his manager, and Bill Hader is his roadie in charge of guitars (even though Conner doesn't play guitar). But one celeb cameo in Popstar that's a total surprise is that of a certain mega-famous NSYNC alum who appears as (spoiler!) Conner's personal chef. Justin Timberlake in Popstar is one of the funniest parts of the movie, both because it's so unexpected and because of the nature of the role.

Basically, JT's character is super mild-mannered and has a markedly different vibe from the other 31 people on Conner's payroll. In the character's introduction, Timberlake wears full chef's whites and speaks in a soft high-pitched voice. He explains that Conner is a very picky eater but that it brings him genuine joy to prepare different cuisines for the popstar. He then shows eight different types of sliced carrots that he has arranged on a platter for the catering table. Eight. Clearly, the character is very committed to his post.

JT pops up again here and there as the movie goes on. In one particular scene, he is off to the side of the room chopping away while Conner and his crew are on the couch watching video footage. JT starts quietly singing along with the song that's playing, at which point Conner yells at him to shut up and leave the singing to the professionals. It's a hilarious tongue-in-cheek moment simply because of the irony of one of most famous pop singers in real life being told that he can't sing.

Timberlake's greatest moment, though, comes at the end of the movie. The grand finale of the film features a huge performance by Conner's band at the "Poppys," a parody of the Grammys. A few unexpected stars join onstage, including Michael Bolton and Usher. There is also a person on the stage in a furry mascot costume, who joins in the impassioned performance with an amazing solo. Everyone looks confused at the mystery performer, and then there's a quick cut to a confessional shot of Timberlake, who excitedly whispers, "It was me! I was in the suit!" It makes you want to cheer for the little guy that he finally got his moment on stage, although you also have the knowledge that Timberlake has in fact been on stage more times than most other people in the movie.


It makes sense that JT would appear in the movie, given that he's buds with Samberg and has previously collaborated with The Lonely Island, but it's still a fun surprise since his character isn't featured in any of the trailers or promos. It's also cool to see that a big star like Timberlake is willing to make fun of himself and play a character who isn't one of the "cool kids" in the movie. And, if JT ever does decide that he wants to make the transition from pop star to personal chef, he is more than welcome in my kitchen.