But at this year's Comic-Con in San Diego, where the actor was promoting In Time, Timberlake spent an entire afternoon out in public without having to worry about screaming fans, paparazzi swarms or mass hysteria.
That's because Timberlake was dressed as Ernie from Sesame Street.
As part of Esquire's October cover story, journalist Chris Jones and Timberlake donned Burt and Ernie costumes and took to the San Diego Convention Center. While there, they got plenty of attention, but not for the reasons the performer is accustomed.
"I keep forgetting, when people ask to take our picture it's because I'm Ernie," he said. "It's not because I'm me."
While Jones prodded the musician and actor to take off his mask and surprise his unsuspecting fans, Timberlake preferred to remain incognito.
"No way, dude. You have no idea what it's like," Timberlake said. "I can sometime walk around New York if I dress the right way, but that's it."
Timberlake enjoyed his anonymity, if only for a few hours.
"You're witnessing one of the most memorable days of my life," he proclaimed.