“I can honesty say I’ve always wanted to combine the two — I never thought it would be Trolls,” Justin Timberlake said of the DreamWorks Animation film in which he both acted and handled the soundtrack. The superstar added, “It was so fun every day.”

TROLLS

The multi-Grammy and Emmy winner was speaking onstage at The Contenders Presented By Deadline last month. Our big annual awards-season event was held at a SRO DGA on November 5, with Trolls director Mike Mitchell and producer Gina Shay joining Timberlake.

“It all came together with that little creature, the troll with the hair,” Mitchell said of the genesis of the surreally colorful, singing, dancing and fast-witted pic released November 4. “The cool thing was there was no story, there was no world,” said Mitchell of the movie based on the Thomas Dam-created toy line. “That’s like a great opportunity for us and for all the artists that worked on it that we got to create this entire world and mythology that didn’t exist.”

contenders-2

What also didn’t exist before Timberlake brought it into this world and the world of Trolls was “Can’t Stop the Feeling!” The tune of summer 2016, “Feeling” was also the main song on Trolls as Timberlake did double duty as the film’s music executive producer and playing the role of the initially killjoy Branch.

Bursting with star power, Trolls also stars Anna Kendrick, Gwen Stefani, The Late Late Show host James Corden, Russell Brand, Transparent’s Jeffrey Tambor, Zooey Deschanel, Christine Baranski and John Cleese.

Take a look at the video to see more of what went into the creation of movie that has been nominated for a Golden Globe, the Annie Awards and Critics’ Choice.