Could Being an Actor Kill Justin Timberlake's Music Career?

With his movie career revving up, the star of The Social Network is vague about his return to making music

Now that The Social Network is about to open to rave reviews on Friday, Justin Timberlake is finally getting something he's been wanting for years: recognition as a serious actor. Timberlake, 29, plays a fictionalized version of Napster founder Sean Parker, and there's already Oscar buzz around his first major dramatic role. The musician is poised to take over Hollywood -- but now that he's pursuing an acting career, will his music career suffer?

In a new interview with Entertainment Weekly, Timberlake claims he'll continue to make music... just not in the forseeable future.

"I never stop making music," says the actor. "I don’t know what else to tell you, except that I just don’t know [in] what capacity I want to be involved anymore."

When the interviewer asks him to elaborate, Timberlake's answer is maddeningly vague: "All I’m saying is, in very simple terms, I’ll know when I know. And until I know, I don’t know."

The real question may be, can a successful film and music career exist side-by-side? Few celebrities have been equally successful in both fields. The best role model for Timberlake is probably Will Smith, who transitioned from being a young hip-hop musician to the most popular film actor in the world. Smith was able to combine his talents, in part, by writing singles for the soundtracks of his own films. Besides Smith, the most acclaimed singer-turned-film-star is probably Cher -- but other than a streak of iconic roles in the '80s, her films are few and far between. (This year's Burlesque will be her first leading role in over ten years). Queen Latifah and Jennifer Lopez have done pretty well in both arenas. And we can think of plenty of other contemporary musicians with small but respectable film careers -- David Bowie, Dolly Parton, Tom Waits, Eminem -- although most of them will always be known as musicians first, actors second.

If Timberlake's film career does take off like a rocket, we wonder if he'll follow in the footsteps of Mark Wahlberg, who left his youthful hip-hop career behind in order to become a serious Hollywood player. We hope Timberlake can find a way to do both, though -- the guy has too much talent not to spread around!

Do you think Justin Timberlake will retire from music? Chime in below!

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