By Stephen M. Silverman
Updated March 12, 2004 02:41 PM

Justin Timberlake may be linked to a number of beauties offscreen, including Cameron Diaz, but when it comes to a love interest in the movie “Edison,” Timberlake’s feature acting debut, the honor goes to “Cheaper by the Dozen” actress Piper Perabo, according to the Hollywood Reporter.

Perabo, 26, is a Tom’s River, N.J., native who also has been seen in “Lost and Delirious” and “Coyote Ugly,” and will next be in “The I Inside” with Ryan Phillippe and “A Piece of My Heart” with Martin Henderson.

“Edison” stars Timberlake, 23, as a young journalist who uncovers an elite unit of corrupt cops, says the trade paper. Costarring with the newcomer are such screen veterans as Morgan Freeman and Kevin Spacey, as well as LL Cool J.

As was reported earlier, Timberlake trained to act like an ink-stained wretch by trailing one of the Associated Press’s reporters, Bob Porterfield, to get a first-hand taste of journalism.

“He was interested in learning how you retrieve these public records. Basically, I showed him how you find them, how you request them,” Porterfield, who gave Timberlake high marks for his research, told AP.

“Edison” starts shooting this Saturday in Vancouver.

Meanwhile, in news of another leading lady, Barbra Streisand, 62, whose last screen appearance was in her critically battered “The Mirror Has Two Faces” in 1996, is in final negotiations to play Dustin Hoffman’s wife and Ben Stiller’s mother in “Meet the Fockers,” says the Reporter, confirming speculation that has made the rounds over the past month.

The project is the sequel to the 2000 comedy hit “Meet the Parents” and will also star Robert De Niro, Blythe Danner and Pam Byrnes.