Justin Bieber’s mom, Pattie Mallette, has a very famous and talented son, a reputation for being religious, and she probably has a house in the South of France. She also has something you don’t know about. A sense of humor.
Just before Christmas, I almost passed up the chance to interview her in anticipation of the release of Justin’s new movie, “Believe.” Let’s be frank, my sense of humor can be a little twisted. I didn’t think it would be a good fit.
But I am also sincere. Sometimes.
So I decided to do it — but my way.
The night before the interview, I snuggled in with Asher, my kindergartner and showed him a little of the movie. Here is how that went down.
Asher is not a Belieber. He has no idea who Justin Bieber is. The kid’s way more interested in Legos than saggy-pantsed rock stars.
Once Pattie was on the phone, I told her she’d be interviewed by a kindergartner.
4, 3, 2, 1…
Then I heard her laughing. And it was on like Donkey Kong.
Asher: Why are all those girls crying while he dances?
Pattie: (I’m trying to figure out how to answer this as if I’m talking to a kindergartner. This is so cute.) Because they’re so excited to see him. They can’t hold back their emotion, that’s what I think.
Asher: I’m scared to be up there (on stage). Was he scared to go up there?
Pattie: No, Justin doesn’t get scared to do what scares us because he was made to do what he’s doing. He feels most comfortable there and that’s where he gets his energy.
Asher: Why did he marry that little girl (Avalanna Routh)?
Pattie: Justin married her because he knew that would bring her great joy and he wanted to be a big part of the rest of her life.
Asher: Was he a good boy? Did he get in trouble for not listening to his mommy?
Pattie: He was not always a good boy. Sometimes he got in trouble. We make mistakes and learn from them. That’s why we have moms and dads to guide us.
Asher: I see his underpants. And all those girls see his underpants too. WHY?
Pattie: (Gasping, giggling) That’s a good question. I ask him the same thing and always tell him to pull up his pants but he thinks that’s the style.
Asher: What does humble mean?
Pattie: We have our own definition of humble which is coming into agreement with who God says you are, but it’s also knowing where you came from, who you are and not thinking less or better of yourself.
Asher: Was he naughty or nice this year?
Pattie: (thoughtfully) Hmmm, that’s a tough one. I think he gave back a lot and did a lot for other people even though he made some mistakes.
Asher: That mustache is funny. Is that a disguise?
Asher: Why did he get a spanking? Is that his daddy?
Pattie: (What? Oh, you mean the Zach Galifianakis thing?) No that was a comedian interviewer being silly. He was just pretending.
Asher: How old is he? I think he’s about 100. Does he go to school?
Pattie: (To me: 100! Hahahaha!) Justin is 19. He’ll be 20 on March 1. He’s all finished with high school. And I hope he lives to be 100.
Asher: Why is he going to be in a train-wreck?
Pattie: When they ask him that (in the movie), they mean is he going to get in a lot of trouble and is he going to fall apart and do things he’s not supposed to do because he has so much freedom. A lot of young people in his position, they become a train-wreck — they make a lot of bad decisions. People want to see Justin make good decisions instead of bad ones.
Asher: Are you proud of him every day, every week, every year?
Pattie: (without hesitation) Yes, I’m always proud of him. Mommy’s are always proud of their children — or they should be.
I only had 10 minutes for the interview so it was over quickly, and as we were wrapping up, Pattie asked me to please send her PR rep the questions Asher had posed for her. I did and the next day, Pattie called me back herself to say Justin wanted to fly Asher and I out to LA to interview him in person and to be expecting “his people” to call.
Uh, holy shit. What?
More about that next time.