1. The interview begins with her getting ROLLING $TONE tattooed on her feet because she wanted to do something fun.
“I thought about going to play laser tag,” she says. “But laser tag sucks. And we could have gone bowling, but what are we, 90?”
2. Which she says isn’t weird because Stephen Baldwin has “HM” tattooed on him for Hannah Montana.
“Did you know Alec Baldwin has Hannah Montana’s initials tattooed on him? No, wait — Stephen Baldwin. He said he was my biggest fan, and I told him my biggest fans have tattoos. So he got hm tattooed on his shoulder.” She shakes her head. “People do fucked-up shit.”
3. One of her tattoos is a Teddy Roosevelt quote. It’s about haters, obv.
“SO THAT HIS PLACE SHALL NEVER BE WITH THOSE COLD AND TIMID SOULS WHO NEITHER KNOW VICTORY NOR DEFEAT.”
“It’s from a Teddy Roosevelt speech,” she says. “It’s about how people judge who wins and who loses, but they’re not the ones in there fighting.” In other words, “It’s about critics.”
4. “I was like, ‘Fuck that,’” Miley says. “My best friend can’t work at Starbucks! We’ve been working ever since.”
Cheyne, 22, is Miley’s assistant, and also her best friend. They’ve known each other for a long time, but Miley hired him only last year, before she went to Philadelphia and Miami to record her new album. Cheyne was working at Starbucks at the time.
5. Bob Hope and his widow Dolores Hope were neighbors of Miley. Dolores threw awesome parties.
“Miss Dolores,” Miley says. “She was party-rocking till the end! Sometimes I’d walk by and see all these people in there dressed up like old-time flappers. I was like, ‘Is this real — or are you guys all ghosts?’”
6. Steve Carrell is her neighbor now and doesn’t sound like he’s a big Miley fan.
“He always gives me the stank-eye because I drive so fast,” Miley says. “The other day I was trying to reverse and I almost hit a thousand things, and I was getting nervous because I could see him going” — she crosses her arms and lets out a big, annoyed sigh. “I’m like, oh, my God, Dan in Real Life is watching me right now!”
7. Miley opened up about the VMAs. “I think,” says Miley, “it’s an important time not to Google myself.”
“Honestly, that was our MTV version,” she says. “We could have even gone further, but we didn’t. I thought that’s what the VMAs were all about!”
8. She maybe, probably, took a shot at Taylor Swift.
“It’s not the Grammys or the Oscars. You’re not supposed to show up in a gown, Vanna White-style” — a little dig at Taylor Swift. “It’s supposed to be fun!”
9. She thinks the infamous moment of the night got “handsy” but Robin Thicke deserves more blame.
“No one is talking about the man behind the ass. It was a lot of ‘Miley twerks on Robin Thicke,’ but never, ‘Robin Thicke grinds up on Miley.’ They’re only talking about the one that bent over. So obviously there’s a double standard.”
10. Kanye West calmed her down before the VMAs and now they’re “homies.”
“He came in and goes, ‘There are not a lot of artists I believe in more than you right now,’” she recalls. “The whole room went quiet. I was like, ‘Yo – can you say that again?!’” She laughs. “I just kept repeating that over and over in my mind, and it made me not nervous.”
Then they worked on a remix for his song “Black Skinhead.” She mentioned that a pair of fur Céline slippers she’d bought were falling apart, and he bought her five more pairs. “Kanye is the shit,” she says. “I kind of have a good relationship with him now. It’s good to have someone you can call and be like, ‘Yo, do you think I should wear this?’ ‘Do you think I should go in the studio with this guy?’ ‘Do you think this is cool?’ That’s what homies are supposed to do.”
11. It bothered her that some said her show was racist or a minstrel show. She said her producers and her dancers are not her “accessories” — they’re her homies.
She argues the idea that she’s somehow playing black is absurd. “I’m from one of the wealthiest counties in America,” she says. “I know what I am. But I also know what I like to listen to. Look at any 20-year-old white girl right now — that’s what they’re listening to at the club. It’s 2013. The gays are getting married, we’re all collaborating.”
12. She “mentors” Justin Bieber.
“I’m not much older than him, so I never want it to feel like I’m mentoring him. But I do mentor him in a way. Because I’ve been doing this shit for a long time, and I already transitioned, and I don’t think he’s quite done it yet.”
“He’s trying really hard,” she adds. “People don’t take him seriously, but he really can play the drums, he really can play guitar, he really can sing. I just don’t want to see him fuck that up, to where people think he’s Vanilla Ice. I tell him that. Like, ‘You don’t want to become a joke. When you go out, don’t start shit. Don’t come in shirtless.’ But the thing is,” she says with a laugh, “I think boys are, like, seven years behind. So in his head, he’s really, like, 12.”
13. The tear in her hit video “Wrecking Ball” is real. Her dog had just died.
On one close-up shot of her face, she sheds a tear. “That was real,” Miley says proudly. “My dog just passed away.”
14. She says last summer she found and embraced her new style and image, getting rid of her manager and many around her because her recent evolution “would have scared them.”
“Best summer ever,” Miley says. “Have you ever been to South Street in Philly? That’s where I got my first chain. Sixteen bucks — not real,” she says, laughing. “I was away from people for a minute, and I just started feeling my own vibe. I bought a pair of Doc Martens. I shaved my head. Driving a fucking Ford Explorer around. Just blending in.”
15. She also went skydiving for the interview.
“If I die,” she tells her instructor, “you guys are so fucked.”
16. Pharrell sent her the most inspiring Deepak Chopra–like message of all time after the VMAs.
“The VMAs was nothing more than God or the Universe showing you how powerful anything you do is,” he says at one point. “It’s like uranium — it has the power to take over lives or power entire countries. Now that you’ve seen your power, master it.”
“You’re not a train wreck,” he says later. “You’re the train pulling everyone else along.”