Do you bear a passing resemblance to a celebrity? Have you ever been mistaken in public for one? Can you imagine what that's like when it happens all the time?! For Justin TimberLIKE, also known as Anthony, it's something he's turned into a career. Johnny Ikon catches up with him to find out what it's like being a professional lookalike.
How did you first start impersonating Justin? When I was younger girls would tell me all the time how much I looked like Justin Timberlake and I would get all the banter from guys so I decided to approach a lookalike agency and it snowballed from there. When you start out as a lookalike you never know quite what to expect but it isn't about putting on a costume and standing there, you have to be quite outgoing and confident, people expect the whole act, imagine Justin Timberlake with a London accent! Most of it comes with experience I have been a lookalike for Justin Timberlake for 5 years now so it comes pretty naturally to me now, I just slip in and out of the role.
Are you a fan of Justin Timberlake? How do you deal with it if Justin does something you don’t like or disapprove of? I am a fan of Justin Timberlake, I like his music and his dancing and from my time spent with him he seems like a really down to earth guy, I don't judge him as a individual, when he is in the papers (grins) that brings me more work so how can I dissaprove of someone who is keeping me busy.
Do you get mistaken for him when you’re “off-duty” or do you need a lot of hair/make-up to achieve the look? What kind of reaction do the public have to you? I have a natural look, therefore I cannot escape the resemblance so in theory I am never off duty, thats part of my daily life, as well as the comments and reactions from the public. Sure when I am performing I put in more effort to perfect the look but I cannot escape my face. The reaction from the public has always been positive, I think Justin has a mixed fan base so I am fortunate not to resemble someone who perhaps isn't well liked or popular. Some people find it weird and they say how crazy it is to see someone who looks so much like JT. Some don't quite know how to react i guess , to some (especially his fans) I am probarlly the closest they will get to the real thing so they get very excited, whereas to my Friends and Family they see me as Anthony and they certainly bring me back down to earth.
What’s the most interesting ‘gig’ you’ve been booked for? Without a doubt has to be working with Justin Timberlake and Madonna when I doubled for Justin in Madonna's video "4 Minutes", that was an amazing experience, one I won't ever forget. That has to be the highlight of my lookalike career so far, both were amazing people and so very nice to work with. Madonna made reference to me and Justin talks about me on tape he said "Stories about me being out at this place and out at that place, I bet it was that f**king douche bag, he's going all around London making out with chicks", that was funny then Madonna jumped in with "He could be you" and Justin piped up "she goes.... Your double looks just like you and then there was this moment she wanted to say, "Only cuter" and Madonna replied 'No-ones cuter than you baby'". That was weird hearing them talking about me and in such good humour, again I was fortunate to meet the star I emulate when other lookalikes double for theirs yet don't always have that privilege, but to have those comments on tape is fantastic for my CV as well as my personal collection.
If Justin gets new elaborate tattoos or his body or hair changes, do you feel like you have to try and emulate the changes? As an Impersonator we have to try to keep up to date with the stars ever changing image, again I have been fortunate that JT hasn't done anything too extreme. Yet! Tattoos can be copied, I know other impersonators that do this but I wouldn't go as far as to have real copies, as for hairstyles depends on how extreme, again I know Impersonators who have followed suit including a Britney who shaved off her hair in support for the real one... that took guts! I have never and would never have surgery to look like JT thats a bit OTT for me, besides the way I see it (Anthony grins widely) Justin looks like me, he just happens to be the famous one! The look is natural but for the tribute side I had vocal coaching and choreography lessons.
If someone books you for an appearance, what services does your repertoire consist of? Do you sing the songs too? I can be booked for a meet and greet as a lookalike for parties and events, as well as photoshoots, product launches or adverts. I can be booked as a tribute act too, with or without dancers, and I have a fully choreographed 40 minute show, with live tracks including "Cry Me a River", "Lovestoned", "Sexyback", "Love Me Like I love You" and "Senorita". Tracks are added constantly.
What accolades has your career brought you? What are the highlights? I was awarded Best Male Popstar and Overall Lookalike in 2004 on "Stars and Their Doubles", but the highlight has to be working with Justin and Madonna. I've also featured in OK! magazine, appeared at the MTV Awards and the Brit Awards, other magazines and recently I was a finalist on a live German show called "Lebe Deinen Star", to find the twelve best doubles in the world.
What’s next for “Justin Timberlike”? Where do you see yourself going with this in the long-term? I will perform as Justin TimberLIKE as long as clients want me. I enjoy performing and entertaining people, so if I continue to share an uncanny likeness to JT then I might as well get paid for it. Long term, who knows whats around the corner? I guess I just go with the flow and have so much fun I don't really think about it. I would like to travel and would like to have my own show touring and doing what I enjoy most, which is performing.
Are there any low points to being a lookalike? I was blessed with this face and it sure has its advantages in that I do receive a lot of attention, which at times can be fun and very flattering. It also has its disavantages, sometimes I just want to be Anthony and you may find it hard to beleive but sometimes it is nice just to be able to go about your daily business and have a night off once in a while. I have other impersonator friends who also share an uncanny look to those they emulate such as Will Smith, Johnny Depp and Brad Pitt, if we are out and about together it can cause quite a stir as people don't always beleive we are "Impersonators". That's when we get a taste of life as a star, it can be very scary at times. I was with an agent when I first started and they wanted to test the reaction of the public, we ended up jumping on a bus to escape screaming girls who were chasing us. That was a very scary experience indeed, girls were literally hanging off the back off the bus. Now when I am working with large crowds or on stage I tend to have security with me for protection.
Log in to post your comments.