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Justin Timberlake “Troubles” the Game in New Sports Drama

Newlywed music superstar and talented actor Justin Timberlake is back on the screen as baseball scout Johnny Flanagan who develops feelings for the daughter (Amy Adams) of a veteran scout (Clint Eastwood), in Warner Bros.’ engaging drama “Trouble With The Curve.”

In the film, Gus Lobel (Eastwood) is an aging baseball scout for the major league team, the Atlanta Braves.  Long since widowed and living alone, Gus has embarked on a recruiting trip—maybe his last, considering his age and the changing business—to find a talented young player.  He’s joined by his daughter Mickey (Adams), a busy corporate lawyer.  The two have maintained a mostly episodic and often strained relationship in the past, which secrets and lies have not helped to mend.  As they reconnect and attempt to work out their personal issues, they cross paths and fates with Johnny (Timberlake), an upcoming rival scout, in a season that will be deeply cathartic for all of them.

“I think Johnny is the character who looks at situations most honestly, and thus is the catalyst in forcing Mickey and Gus to face their issues,” director Robert Lorenz notes.  “He is a warm, likeable, energetic, charming guy, all of which can be said of Justin as well.  He and Amy are both such good actors and had so much fun with their scenes together that the relationship between their characters seemed to come naturally.”

Timberlake says that the atmosphere Lorenz fostered on set enabled the actors to better define those relationships.  “Amy and I were able to establish really good chemistry between the two characters, which I think is a testament to Rob.  He was completely all-knowing of the story we were telling, and what was right and what was interesting about each character.”

A former pro pitcher, nicknamed The Flame for his 100-mile-per-hour fastball, Johnny’s career was cut short, and he has turned to scouting…for now.  Timberlake reveals, “The first time we see him, he’s on the side of the road, watching a bunch of kids in a pick-up game and speaking into a recorder, giving the play-by-play.  It’s an early hint that, now that his career as a player is over, he’s honing his chops, hoping to get into broadcasting.”

The actor drew on his own experiences “calling” games.  “When I was a kid, I used to mimic the announcers, trying to replicate that rhythm and charisma they have.  It’s an audio-only performance so you really have to connect to your audience—the fans—because you’re narrating a part of life that they’re so passionate about.”

It was Gus, in fact, who brought Johnny up to “the show” when he pitched for the Braves.  Now, Gus and Johnny, who’s scouting for the Red Sox, are both looking to add a coveted player to their respective teams.  In spite of their presumed rivalry, Gus still acts as something of a mentor to the younger man, who even picks up a few pointers from Mickey.

Opening across the Philippines on Nov. 28, “Trouble With The Curve” is distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

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