• Tue, Dec 24 - 1:00 pm ET

Justin Bieber Really Sees Himself As An ‘Underdog’: My Interview With His Mom

Premiere Of Open Road Films' "Justin Bieber's Believe" - Red CarpetA couple of weeks ago I was asked to take part in a telephone interview with author, producer and motivational speaker, Pattie Mallette, who also happens to be the mother of Justin Bieber. I’m a fan of moms. There aren’t many celebrities I go gaga over, but I will pretty much get excited about interviewing anyone’s mother at any time. Moms are my people. Plus, I found it sort of interesting the promotional company contacted me, considering my views on things that seem pretty much in direct conflict to the views of someone like Mallette. Were they completely unfamiliar about the sorts of things I usually write about?

I was going to ask her all sorts of amazing things, how she feels about her son’s behavior as of late, how she feels about girls as young as toddler age getting wrapped up in young male popstars and how we raise strong women, what it was like for her being a poverty-stricken teenage mom herself and how we can work to reduce instances of teen pregnancy. I prepared all my questions and phoned in for the interview.

Megan Sayers, from Modern Mom was up first, and she asked Pattie what it is like to be the mom of a superstar and how she keeps her son grounded. Pattie replied that moms adapt to whatever situation their kid is in, and hope that they are just the loudest voice in their child’s ear. Megan then asked about Round Two, which is a foundation that Pattie started to give people a second chance in life, and what advice Patti would give to young single moms. Pattie said her advice for teen moms is to really reach out for help and that they have so many resources and people willing to help and that she read every parenting book you can imagine and joined every mom’s group.

The next question was asked by Carrie from a website that had a name I just didn’t get, and she asked how Pattie deals with criticism about her son and Pattie replied that she feels it is harder for her than it is for Justin, and that not everyone is going to agree with what you do and you just gotta keep on keeping on. Carrie than asked what holiday traditions Pattie and her son share and Pattie replied that they are going to Canada and they always celebrate Christmas on Christmas Eve and that her mom’s birthday is on Christmas Eve so that is how they have always celebrated.

And then the promotion company got on the line and said that we needed to ask more questions related to Justin’s new movie coming out, entitled Believe, which is released in theaters tomorrow.

All my carefully planned questions were useless.

So I asked Pattie how involved she was in the making of the film.

Pattie explained that she had been on tour with her son for two months and that she got to see everything. She said that it was fascinating for her to watch the creative process unfold. I then asked if she ever felt like art directing the whole thing and telling her son what to do and asked he put on a different shirt because moms are controlling. Well, at least I would be. I have a teenager and if I were on tour with him I would be totally stage momming the hell out of him. Pattie replied that she has never been a stage mom and that this whole sort of thing just fell on them and it was never something she tried to make happen. 

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  • pixie

    At first I didn’t like Justin Bieber because I didn’t like his music. Then when I went to university, I met a girl in my program who was from the same town as him (Stratford, Ontario), who has a younger sister his age and she told me that he sent her sister home from school crying every day. Probably a bit exaggerated, but I’ve also heard other less than spectacular things about him from others who grew up in the same town who knew of him before he was famous. His latest antics have just made my dislike for him rise. Yes, he’s relatively good-looking and fairly talented, but I think bad public behaviour overshadows good things (for me at least). Many celebrities also are completely willing to participate in Make a Wish Foundation wishes, relief efforts for natural disasters and wars, and other philanthropic opportunities, to gain positive media attention. I’m sure it’s difficult being in the spotlight constantly, but when you’re under so much scrutiny, you can’t exactly afford to forget you’re constantly being watched by paparazzi. Plus, there are also plenty of celebrities who (mostly) maintain very private lives out of the spotlight and are still super successful.

    I agree with you, he is not an underdog. If he thinks he’s an underdog, he is either greatly mistaken or doesn’t know what that word means. People can listen to his music all they want, preteen girls can scream gleefully over him, but personally, I’m just not a fan. Never have been and I don’t know if I ever will be.

  • rrlo

    Being Canadian, I used to joke when my son and nephew were born that they would be the next Justin Bieber (this was a couple of years ago). I don’t joke about it anymore. While Bieber kind of brings it on himself with his silly comments and behaviour, it terrifies me to see how a whole world is almost rooting for a teenager to completely fail and self-destruct. I really hope he ends up being like Justin Timberlake instead of go down the Britney and Lindsay Lohan route.

    Having the “underdog” chip on his shoulder is definitely not helping.

    • http://Mommyish.com/ Eve Vawter

      I have huge issues with the concept of anyone being an underdog, unless they are actually an underdog. If one of my kids felt this way about themselves, considering they are all healthy and have food in the kitchen and heat, I would punch them right in the smacker.

    • rrlo

      From the interview, it seemed like his mother shared Bieber’s underdog feelings. So there will be no punching Bieber in the smacker from his mother – that’s for sure.
      I really do wish him well though – we watched him since he was a child, getting famous. I certainly don’t want to hear about him dying alone in a hotel room somewhere.

    • pixie

      As much as I don’t like him, I also wouldn’t like to see him go the route of Lindsay Lohan, et al. I hate seeing young celebrities (or any young people for that matter, but the celebs are a main focus in magazines and in the media) going into “train wreck mode” and dying young or ruining their reputation and lives. I just wish he had a bit more of a filter in his brain of what is appropriate to do/say in public and what isn’t.

    • Gangle

      I kind of feel sorry for these people in a way.. On one hand they have been handed success and privilege. But then, this doesn’t mean that they automatically receive the wisdom or grace to handle it. During your teens and early twenties you are still figuring things out, saying stupid shit and making the most idiotic mistakes. I wasn’t at all wild in my teens or early twenties, but even I cringe at some of the stupid stuff I said and did.

    • pixie

      Same with me. Not a wild child at all, pretty much only drank and went to parties because my boyfriend did, but even still there’s times where I look back and am like “did I seriously do/say that?”

  • Cee

    A lot of famous people seem to have an under dog complex. I wonder if it is an idea record companies put in their heads to push them.

    • Bic

      Possibly, I suspect some of it comes from the amount of hate aimed their way too. That can’t be a easy thing to deal with, especially since it seems like most people that kind of backlash happens to haven’t done anything to deserve it. When it starts at least.

    • Cee

      In a sense, yes. I think famous people don’t know how to deal with backlash because, rather than have a team of people to prepare them for the backlashes that come with fame, famous people especially young famous people, have a lot of yes people around them.

      The thing is, not everyone is going to love you when you’re famous. But when you do shitty things, like fat shame a girl you meet and all around act like a douche, well, you will get more, deserved backlash. And, rather than reflect on your behavior, the people you surround yourself with will say you’re the victim of the world, hence underdog complex rather than true under dog.

      You can’t be really be the under dog when you are a millionaire whose payroll is probably not declining any time soon. You can’t be an under dog when rather than face consequences for actions, you are constantly defended by an insane amount of people to the point that anyone that critiques you gets hundreds if not thousands of death threats.

    • Bic

      I don’t know that anyone can really be helped deal with fame, no matter how hard people try to prepare them for what it’s going to be like, never mind a backlash. Especially since most people don’t actually do anything to cause a backlash, they are still the same people they were 18, 12, or 6 months before when they were popular. Very few of them will actually do anything wrong.

      In this case plenty of people hated him before he started behaving like a pillock. That must be a mind fuck for anyone, especially when all you’re doing is your job.

      I absolutely agree he’s not an underdog and I completely understand why people don’t like his recent behaviour. It’s true not everyone will like you when you are famous which is fine, it’s the hate which I find a bit pointless and once it gets out of hand quite harmful. I’m sure the money’s great (and I wouldn’t say no if anyone offered it to me) but it can only solve financial issues. It doesn’t come with make life perfect abilities, things still hurt

    • arrow2010

      Steve Jobs had an underdog complex.

    • Cee

      At one point, I think he was one.

    • arrow2010

      Only a self-imposed one, but that’s another story for another day.

  • AP

    I’m astonished that you resisted the temptation to ask how she felt about him being photographed exiting all those Brazilian brothels and abandoning his pet monkey to German customs.

  • AnastasiaMcNally

    Holy what?! Underdog? He needs a reality check faster than you can say “shut-your-mouth-you-ungrateful-little-swine”.

  • http://fairlyoddmedia.com/ Frances Locke

    First of all. You are my hero. I need you to know that. I also have a very hard time picturing Bieber as an “underdog.” I just can’t…

    Though, I kind of have sympathy for her. I was the shitiest of shity teens and I’m thankful every day that at least my mom didn’t have to deal with that AND me being famous. Still, the millions of bucks and loving adoration of fans must help with that. A lot.

  • arrow2010

    Bieber’s music is lame-o and so is his celebrity. There are a million artists out there deserving of a billion Youtube views, not him. I despise him and anyone who likes him.

  • Kay_Sue

    I don’t want him to crash and burn or anything, but I’d be super happy if he just disappeared.

  • Heather

    Of course he has an underdog complex. He may be famous now, but he started on YouTube. Not to say he doesn’t act like a complete dick a lot of the time. He obviously is doing all of his coming of age nonsense in a very public way and he’s not doing it gracefully at all.

  • Kelly

    This is why he’s such a shithead. He has a mom who constantly makes lame excuses for his unacceptable behavior.

  • Maddi

    Justin Bieber is an asshole with an ego that needs it’s own planet.

    • Fuzzy ‘n Broken Mirror

      Uranus