How the Real Man of the Woods Silas Timberlake Brought Out the Best in Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel

E! News/April 6, 2018

While parenthood got off to an unpredictable start for Justin Timberlake and Jessica Biel, their firstborn son, Silas Timberlake, changed their world all for the better.

After two years of marriage, the star couple was expecting their first child together—a baby boy—in the spring of 2015. As they just recently revealed, the first-time parents had been prepared to welcome the little one into the world at their own Hollywood Hills home with the help of two midwives and a doula, but suddnely all of their plans “fell apart.”

“The serene, natural childbirth we had envisioned ended with a transfer to the hospital and an emergency C-section,” the couple shared in The Nanny Connie Way. While the process did not go as anticipated, Mr. and Mrs. Timberlake were officially a dad and mom thanks to little Silas Randall Timberlake, born on April 8, 2015.

Instantly, there was magic. “The moment when he wakes up from a nap [is the most magical],” Biel told E! News in her first interview since giving birth. “He’s sort of looking around and you kind of creep up and look over the crib and he looks up and he goes [Biel lets out a big sighing sound]. Just a gummy mouth, no teeth, just big smile, happy that you’re alive and that you’re looking at him. That’s probably the most magical moment.”

While it’s been just three years since he came into their lives, his impact has been undeniable. For dad Justin, Silas became the driving force of his first album in four years—right down to the name.

“I literally just went on Google like, ‘meaning of the name Silas,’ and it sent me to this to this site and it said, ‘of Latin origin meaning ‘Man of the woods,'” he revealed in an interview for Zane Lowe‘s Beats 1 Radio show. “I was like, ‘How serendipitous that my last is Timberlake, like what does that mean?'”

Beyond the title, having Silas moved Timberlake to reflect on the man he has become, the thesis for the entire record.

“I talk about every [album] before Man of the Woods as aspiration and then Man of the Woods really is inspiration because when you have kids, all of a sudden you’re faced with your own childhood, good and bad,” he explained in the interview. “And, ‘Am I going to completely mess this kid up?…I feel like the success of parenthood is feeling like I failed all day today, but I get to wake up tomorrow and do it again and hopefully they turn out to be a good human being.”

“It’s definitely the most introspective record I’ve made,” he noted.

Becoming a parent had just as much extended influence on Biel, whose portrayal of a mother in the 2017 USA series The Sinner garnered her first Golden Globe nomination. Thanks to having her son, Biel’s newfound perspective helped her to more authentically walk in the shoes of Cora, the afflicted young mother who unexpectedly and mysteriously stabs a man on the beach and, as a result, sends her entire life into a downward spiral.

“I truly understand what it means to have a child, what the history of that looks like—the actual process of it—and then what it means to be a parent, so playing a person who commits a crime like this and then has to really deal with the repercussions of how does that look like for her family unit—that I really understand and I feel very connected to that idea,” she explained to E! News.

Silas’ impact didn’t stop at the small screen. As Biel spread her entrepreneurial wings, she benefitted from being a mama, beginning with her kid-friendly restaurant, Au Fudge.

“I definitely do [have a new perspective]. When we started talking about this, I didn’t have kids and so when [my friends] would say to me, ‘We need a place where we can go and have great food and feel confident where that food is coming from and a place where my kids have fun. This is missing.’ And I’m thinking, ‘Sure I guess, I’ll come hang out,'” Biel told E! News in 2015, five months after giving birth.

“I didn’t have any real understanding of how important it would be to find a place and create a space where a family can come and your kid can be happy doing something and you can be really happy doing something else or you can be experiencing it together.”

As she continued, “So that has been a real eye-opening experience for sure, I mean the whole project is different because I understand now how important it is…and how sort of a missing link it is in the marketplace for moms and for families and for dads. There are just very few options where you can go and really feel like you’re trusting the food and you have a good time and it’s beautiful and you feel really excited to go instead of like ‘Oh I guess I have to go to only one of two options that I have on a Sunday with my family where the table next door isn’t going to be annoyed because my kids sitting here.’ So [Silas’ birth] changed everything, really.”

Going through pregnancy and birth also opened Biel’s eyes to all she didn’t know about her body. As a result, she partnered with WCG to found the Tryst Network, a sex positive resource for women everywhere.
“When I thought about getting pregnant, I realized I didn’t know how my body worked—like the intricacies of my menstrual cycle—in a meaningful way,” she explained. “When I tried talking to friends, they didn’t know either. I thought, how is this possible? We’re well educated, thirty-something adults—how do we not know these things? And it’s hard in our society to be honest about what you don’t know. You feel guilt and shame and don’t want to admit you don’t know these things. I want Tryst to change all that.”
As it seems, Silas was just the start to all the change he would spark in his famous parents’ lives—and we’re willing to bet they wouldn’t have wanted it any other way.
Just like Timberlake sings on his track “Young Man, “You know your daddy’s so proud of you, my little young man. Mama just can’t get enough of you.”

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