"Friends" Kunis, Timberlake have fun getting naked

Wed Jul 20, 2011 4:47pm EDT
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By Iain Blair

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Whenever a major Hollywood movie calls for its two main stars to go nude for large chunks of the film, then get up close and personal in steamy sex scenes, they usually exit stage left, running, protesting and quickly sending in body doubles.

Not Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis. And not for their new romantic comedy, "Friends with Benefits," opening on Friday.

The pop singer-turned-actor, hot off acclaimed turns in "The Social Network" and "Bad Teacher," and the actress who is still trailing smoky sex appeal from "Black Swan," not only embraced the nudity and sex, they insisted on more of both.

The movie looks at what happens when two attractive but emotionally burned young professionals decide to embark on a casual sex-with-no-emotions relationship.

"We all workshopped it, which is unheard of, and they (the film's makers) also gave us a lot of leeway to make it our own," Timberlake told reporters at a recent news conference. "So we all worked on it, and it was through those rehearsals that we all re-polished it."

"I think we both wanted to make sure the script was in a place where we felt safe, and stood by it regardless," added Kunis. "And if the script hadn't got to that place, neither one of us would have done the film. So through all the rewrites we felt comfortable and believed in what we had."

The result is a film that, while it mines material similar to such recent comedies as "No Strings Attached" starring Natalie Portman and Ashton Kutcher, prides itself on being an "ultra-real, generational comedy," as Timberlake put it.

The two main characters' families -- Jenna Elfman plays his sister, Richard Jenkins his Alzheimer's-afflicted father, while Patricia Clarkson appears as Kunis' flaky mother -- help drive the plot. As does the often brutally honest comedy.   Continued...

<p>Presenters Justin Timberlake and Mila Kunis perform a comedy bit at the 2011 MTV Movie Awards in Los Angeles, June 5, 2011. REUTERS/Mario Anzuoni</p>