A 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.
She said that she still gets chills watching him and that he is his own worst critic and that he is a perfectionist and that he is very competitive and very competitive with himself. That he continuously finds himself the underdog and that he wants to prove otherwise. That he is here to stay and that in the movie we can all see his creative writing process and that it's just so fascinating and it never gets old for me.
Julie from Mommy's Memorandums stated that she loves the name of the movie and feels that because of all of the negative media attention directed towards Justin that he has been knocked down so hard and asked Pattie how she deals with that as a mother. Pattie replied: he's very competitive and wants to prove the world wrong and that he finds himself the underdog and that's a place for him where he gets to rise above again and he has to do everything in front of the whole world and sometimes that's not pretty. He thrives on that underdog situation and he just wants to prove everyone wrong and come out on top.
And this is where I kinda lost it.
I interrupted the whole interview and said that if I had a kid who was that gifted and that aesthetically beautiful and rich and talented I would explain to him how lucky he is and that there are kids in the world who are poor and who have cancer and does she ever feel like telling her kid to get over himself? I asked her if she ever feels frustrated that her son feels like an underdog when he is so lucky and blessed.
Pattie said it's hard to see people's opinions and their criticisms aren't so nice and I think sometimes it bothers more than it bothers him. He has a lot of really faithful and amazing fans who are always encouraging him. I think he tries to focus more on who he's striving to be. It's tough being a teenager and finding out who you are and then adding all this fame and money and resources at your fingertips - the whole world telling you that you're invincible and finding out what's real and what matters. It's a struggle for any of us and you add all that on top of it and it just complicates things.
Pattie then went on to tell this amazing story about how one of her favorite parts of the movie is Justin's relationship with a little girl named Avalanna and some of these make A Wish terminally ill children, some of their last wishes is to meet Justin and she (Avalanna) has a very special bond with Justin, she is six-years-old and they show a lot of this in the movie. And it's really precious, their relationship, and he gets really emotional about her. And he brings her out on stage and he sings to her and marries her. She has this whole ceremony of this pretend wedding where she marries this cardboard cut-out of him and she calls herself Mrs. Bieber. It's just so precious to see the whole thing and his vulnerability. It goes a little bit into his work with Make A Wish and he does so many other things that aren't that talked about.
She also explained that Justin has just been doing charity work in the Philippines.
That the interview sort of wrapped up with another reporter asking if Justin is a Christian and Pattie saying he has to find his own faith.
I have a hard time with the concept of Bieber as an underdog. I'm sure being that megafamous and having every move you make scrutinized by the media isn't fun, but it's a hell of a lot better than having cancer.
I would have liked to delve in more to Pattie and her beliefs and how she feels about issues that affect girls and women and what her life is like now. I wanted to ask about the whale comment and the peeing in the bucket and how a mom sees her son act like such an idiot without wringing his neck. I wanted to know if these things bother her as a mom (and as a woman) and how they have affected her relationship with her son, but all I got out of this is that Justin sees himself as an underdog and he has a new movie coming out.
You can see Believe in theaters on Christmas Day.
Big shout out to Megan Sayers who provided me with the audio transcripts of the interview.
(Image: getty images)