Justin Bieber's big movie role


Staff member

Justin Bieber doesn't want to sit still, which is understandable. These days, the international superstar has a schedule that would daunt even the most seasoned recording artist. He's found he can do more if he keeps moving.

Currently, the 17-year-old global sensation is meeting with select press to publicise his 3-D concert film, Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. There is also a rumour that he has costume fittings for an upcoming guest-starring role in a popular crime drama television series.

By his own admission, ‘doing press' is not high on his list of favourite pastimes, yet he is ever the professional - polite, focused and thoughtful. He is convincing when he says,"I never, never wanted to be famous. I was just putting videos on there [YouTube], just for friends and family. Because I liked doing it. That wasn't a dream of mine, because I really didn't think it would happen. I didn't think it was possible. I never aimed high, I still just kept going, because I thought it was fun. I still didn't think I could get famous because of it."

The Canadian began life with an almost preternatural musical ability (not to mention, an aptitude for sports), and so when his divorced mother, Pattie Mallette, began posting his performance videos on YouTube, neither of them thought the clips would ever travel beyond the monitors of his grandparents, relatives and friends allowed computer privileges. They were wrong. Saying that the videos became viral is like saying rabbits sometimes breed. For example: his latest video, for the single Baby, established itself as YouTube's most watched of all timeto date, with more than 260 million views.

When Atlanta-based Scooter Braun got wind of the Canadian kid with the voice, he says that he recognised the star quality of the singer, and practically stalked Mallette, flying them to Atlanta for meetings after several long phone conversations.

Braun then introduced Bieber to Usher, and that led to his signing with Island Def Jam Music Group under three-time Grammy-winning recording executive LA Reid, who had previously signed (and put on the musical map) such platinum-sellers as Mariah Carey, Pink, Rihanna, Kanye West and Usher himself.

Several million sold records later, it's safe to say that Justin has the airwaves in check. Now, it's time to conquer the movie screen with Justin Bieber: Never Say Never. According to the performer, the film "just kind of happened," which is to say that once planned, Bieber agreed, and filming of the project was folded into the final leg of his sold-out 2010 tour, leading up to his October concert at New York's famed Madison Square Garden - following in the footsteps of such talents as Michael Jackson, The Police, John Lennon and, more recently, Taylor Swift.

On the road leading up to the Garden, Bieber's days and nights were filmed, so cameras were there to meet family and his road ‘family,' and photograph the young heart-throb engaged in killing time, rehearsing, battling vocal fatigue and, of course, performing. Several of his hits are featured via filmed live performances, both at the 20,000 seat arena and elsewhere. "It's always weird to have cameras there, but I just kind of didn't really pay attention to them," says Bieber.

Which is another way of saying that the camera-wielding public is never far away.How does he cope with his fishbowl existence? "What matters the most to me is myself,and just remaining sane. 'Cause this business is, like, really crazy. And it's easy to get caught up in it. So my sanity is what's importantto me. Because, if I don't stay sane, then..."

The alternative is obvious by omission - one only has to thumb the tabloids to cataloguea number of young adult performers buckling under the pressure of career demands.

But despite global scrutiny and an ever-increasing access to Bieber - Never Say Never's cameras are privy to the star's life backstage and on the road - he tries to remain as close to a normal 17-year-old as an abnormally talented and world famous 17-year-old can be. Whenever their schooling allows, Bieber's two best friends are flown in to wherever Bieber happens to be.

His stated goals are to grow as an artist -"I want to do more writing for other artists as well" - and he has gone on record as saying that he hopes someday to work with Eminem. "I just think music evolves and as you evolve, your music is going to change with you. My World was my first ever album. With My World 2.0, I was still new to it - I'm still new to it now. So I think every album is going to improve and every album is going to be different. I'm still young. I still have only gone through what a 17-year-old has gone through. So, I'm just trying to do my thing," he says.

Bieber's 2011 concert tour includes several countries where he has not previously appeared, including Indonesia and China. "Once that tour ends," Bieber says, "I willhave been everywhere."

Again, a believable utterance, when one stops to consider the dizzying speed with which Justin Bieber has becomea household name. His ‘discovery' via YouTube was barely four years ago, his first single released little more than two years ago. Last November saw the release of his third album (an acoustic version of his hits, which gives further evidence to his vocal largess, should anyone with ears still need more proof of his talent). When asked if his career feels markedly different now than, say, a year ago, Bieber offers, "It's still the same. I'm different. I didn't think it would come this fast, though."

Fast is right. Those numbers say it all: more than 260 million views for Baby on YouTube; more than five million albums sold; millions and millions (and millions) of fans on Facebook and Twitter. "I think everything happens for a reason. I'm here, I'm doing what I love. And I'd be satisfied just playing sports in my hometown and just being a kid. But, this has definitely been awesome."

When it's pointed out that a great deal of his popularity is thanks to social networking, that the tools available to him were unheard of bya young Michael Jackson - that even his mentor, Usher, could not plug into such a powerful tool early in his career - Bieber says, "Exactly. I'm still teaching my boy Usher how to use the Internet."