It’s all part of the plan. The twerking. The tongue. The tattoos. Miley Cyrus is a “strategic hot mess,” and we love it. Chronicling her triumphs and struggles for four months, MTV took a behind-the-scenes glimpse into the life of Cyrus leading up to and after her controversial performance at the 2013 MTV Video Music Awards with Robin Thicke for Wednesday’s Miley: The Movement. From the funny moments with her mom to catching up with Britney Spears, the documentary captured her most candid moments. Here are five things we learned from the Bangerz singer on her journey with MTV.
1. Miley’s not transitioning, she’s growing. Miley is still Miley. While critics have labeled her current phase as a “transition,” the former Hannah Montana star maintains it’s always been her. “I’m the same human, I’ve got the same heart I had five years ago,” she says. “All the things about me are the same — same skin, same human — so it’s not a transition. It’s a movement, it’s a growth, it’s a change.”
2. Miley has doubts too. Yes, Miley had some reservations along the way. After debuting her single “We Can’t Stop,” there was a moment when she questioned whether her single was going to break through. “You can never be sure when it comes to your first single,” Cyrus said. “You can always think ‘this is going to be the biggest song in the world,’ and it’s not going to happen.” However, Cyrus went into full promo for the song, and the rest is history, with “We Can’t Stop” hitting No. 1.
3. Miley’s mom is her homey. While it was questionable where then-fiancé Liam Hemsworth and dad Billy Ray Cyrus were in this documentary, the bond between Miley and Tish was evident. “My Mom is my homey! If I win, then she wins — not because she’s my manager, but because she’s my mom,” the singer explained. “I think she keeps me, like, less anxious, because I do get so overwhelmed when I’m gonna perform, because everything has to be perfect.” As Miley’s antics were examined with a fine-tooth comb, Tish maintained her spot as Miley’s support system. “Anyone that’s ever said, ‘Where’s her mother?’ the answer is ‘right beside her,’” Tish said. “Through good, through bad, through arguments, through crying, through I don’t care what — right there.”
4. Pharrell Williams is Miley’s mentor. Supporting Miley throughout her career, Pharrell was the one who suggested the singer chop off her locks. “You have to remember this a 20-year-old evolving,” Williams said. “Her dad is Billy Ray Cyrus, her godmother is Dolly Parton, and she’s raised in the era of ‘hip-hop is king.’ So when people go and look and ask, ‘Why is she twerking, why is she doing this?’ It’s because she’s a byproduct of America.”
5. Miley is strategic and detail-oriented. Miley truly showcased her strong attention to detail as an artist when she grew frustrated after her plans for a grand entrance on the red carpet at the MTV VMAs fell apart. “Everything we do has to be a moment,” Cyrus said. “If I’m going to do it, it has to be the best, so every detail seems much more magnified to me. I can easily let little things that don’t matter to me that much shut me down completely.”
There were a few questions still left to ponder: Where was Billy? Where was Liam? How did producer Mike Will Made It come into play? Did your opinions of Miley change? Let us know in the comments below, and in the meantime check out EW’s review of Bangerz, which hits stores Oct. 8.