Miley Cyrus: “I Have This Freedom To Do What I Want Because People Trust Me”
Is Miley Cyrus the new Madonna? She might be, judging from the savvy young woman on view in MTV’s new documentary Miley: The Movement, debuting October 2. In the past year or so, the former child actor has reinvented herself in a way no other pop star has since the Material Girl. Gone were the curly brown locks and aw-shucks Hannah Montana twang—replaced by a blond buzz, raw lyrics and ample cleavage.
But, according to Cyrus in The Movement, this is all part of a carefully orchestrated strategy:
If people could see the details, they’d see this isn’t some mess—it’s all part of a big plan. Nothing can be off; everything has to be new and creative.
She calls her outrageous performance at the recent VMAs a “strategic hot mess” designed to separate her from her past and plant a flag for the new Miley.
You’re always going to make people talk—You might as well make them talk for two weeks rather than two seconds. … That’s what you’re looking to do, make history.
Following Cyrus as she launches the media blitz for “We Can’t Stop,” The Movement has its share of Truth or Dare moments, too: The blonde pop princess demanding perfection, fighting illness, throwing a minor diva fit, hanging with her gay dancers.
But unlike Madonna, Cyrus was born into her role—and is coming into her own barely out of her teens. “This is a 20-year-old evolving,” says Pharell Willams in the film. “Her dad is Billy Ray Cyrus. Her godmother is Dolly Parton. She was raised in the era where hip-hop was king. So when people were asking why is she twerking? Why is she trying to be black? She’s a byproduct of America.”
There’s also a certain self-awareness Madonna has sometimes lacked: Miley knows she’s been Disney’s girl next door. She calls “We Can’t Stop” a “leap of faith” from the record label but admits “I have this freedom to do whatever I want because people trust me,” from Hannah Montana. “[Now] I can be the bad bitch I really am.”
Miley’s aware enough to know that while her fans (and their parents) may trust her, they can’t exactly relate to her life: In one touching moment, Cyrus lovingly recalls staying in Philadelphia for three months to work on Bangerz because nobody knew—or cared—who she was. “I could walk in the park and people would just be picking up their dog poop!” she says with genuine glee.
Miley: The Movement airs October 2 at 10pm on MTV.