Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel before the Hollywood romance
Before they were one of Hollywood’s hottest reigning It couples, Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel had both been holding it down in Tinseltown since elementary school. Join us for a look at their journeys from child stars to megawatt Mr. & Mrs.
In the beginning
On Jan. 31, 1981, choirs of skinny-jean-clad pop angels undoubtedly erupted into song with the birth of future pop powerhouse Justin Timberlake. The southern-born-and-bred singer entered the world via Memphis, Tennessee to mother Lynn Harless and father Randall Timberlake.
A little over a year later, on March 3, 1982, soon-to-become actress Jessica Biel made her debut across the country in Ely, Minnesota. Her mom was a spiritual healer and her dad worked for GE — somehow we’re not surprised she didn’t choose to follow in her family’s career footsteps.
A Mouseketeer and Mary Camden
Who can forget Timberlake’s “humble” Hollywood beginnings as a cast member of the 1993 class of The Mickey Mouse Club? As much as we love revisiting pics of him alongside Mickey Mouse class/castmates Christina Aguilera and Ryan Gosling, it would be peers JC Chasez and Britney Spears he would be hounded by paparazzi with later in life.
Biel got her start minus Mickey Mouse, although Disney characters did make cameos: At 9, she starred in a string of musical productions, including Beauty and the Beast. It was at 14, however, that she landed the role that would launch her acting career — as Mary Camden, the athletic, marginally dull second-oldest child in the family drama 7th Heaven.
JT’s ‘N Sync while Biel bares some boobage
After The Mickey Mouse Club folded in ’94, Timberlake banded with castmate JC Chasez to form the boy band ‘N Sync. The band released their hit debut album, *NSYNC, in 1998 to the tune of 11 million copies sold. Their second album, No Strings Attached, and their third album, Celebrity, became the fastest and second-fastest selling albums of all time, respectively. The world has the band to thank for earworms like “Tearin’ Up My Heart” and “It’s Gonna Be Me.” During this time, JT was making just as many headlines for his hot-and-heavy romance with Britney Spears as he was for his music.
Meanwhile, Biel was ruffling feathers with a topless appearance in the March 2000 issue of Gear magazine (clearly, the complainants must have all been women). She bounced back from the PR blip with starring roles in campy yet successful flicks like Summer Catch and The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.
Welcome to the big leagues
Despite the statement-making bleached curls and acid-wash jean vests, JT decided to branch out from ‘N Sync (we can’t imagine why) by rebranding himself as a solo artist. Justified, his debut solo effort, was released in 2002 — he premiered his first single, “Like I Love You,” at the 2002 MTV Video Music Awards. It was in 2004 that Timberlake established himself as a bonafide, scandal-inducing star when he exposed Janet Jackson’s lady lumps courtesy of a “wardrobe malfunction” during the halftime show of Super Bowl XXXVIII. Shortly before meeting Biel in 2007, Timberlake broke things off with longtime girlfriend Cameron Diaz, began taking on film work — does Alpha Dog or Black Snake Moan ring any bells? — and released his second solo album, FutureSex/LoveSounds.
JT’s future bride kept busy during the early 2000/pre-JT period with a pretty impressive roster of work on blockbusters like Blade: Trinity alongside Ryan Reynolds (who knew you could fit so much sex appeal on one screen?), Stealth with Josh Lucas and The Illusionist with Ed Norton. Perhaps it was Timberlake’s infamous December 2006 SNL “D*ck in a Box” skit that drew the actress to shun all her sexy co-stars and instead start shacking up with the ex-‘N Syncer.