Overheard recently inside of a GQ editorial meeting…
“So Justin Bieber’s people are going to grant us access to him for a piece. Who should we send to Los Angeles to do the profile?”
“How about that funny guy from the internet who cusses a lot?”
“You mean noted web vulgarian Drew Magary?”
“Yeah, that guy!”
And so it came to pass that our pal Drew was dispatched to hang with the Biebs on a mission to put some hair on his taut little nutsack.
To commemorate the birth of Bieber 2.0, GQ asked me to fly out to Los Angeles and make a man out of him. Never mind that Bieber has already made more money and been offered a finer selection of quality tail than you or I ever will. The goal was explicit: Get Bieber to experience some kind of rite of manhood.
To that end, we proposed to his people any number of insane ideas: drinking, smoking, drinking, going to a titty bar, gambling, drinking, shooting things, drinking, etc. We assumed most of them would be rejected but that perhaps one might slip through the cracks, hopefully the drinking. I told everyone I knew that I had been handed the precious mission of turning Justin Bieber into a gin-swilling, donkey-punching man of the world.
Of course, none of this ended up coming to pass. Turns out neither Bieber nor his team were all that interested in any of our manly ideas. In fact, it’s a measure of just how carefully managed Bieber is that all of our ideas, even having a simple beer, were treated as impossibilities, like proposing to build a gay disco in Iran. A second round of gentler ideas (let’s race go-karts!) was also rejected, to the point where I was willing to settle for just seeing Bieber in person, to confirm that he actually existed.
Well that’s a bummer. Thankfully, after many stops and starts Drew finally did get some alone time with Bieber in a rec room with a pool table.
I’m told this is the first time that Bieber has ever been alone with a reporter for a one-on-one interview, which is not true but still makes me feel like a pederast. He immediately grabs a cue and begins playing by himself. I stand off to the side and start lobbing questions at him.
Bieber, justifiably, isn’t forthcoming with people he doesn’t know, and so I do most of the talking, because whenever I stop talking, there’s nothing but silence. Vast, horrible silence. Lots more floor-staring.
After forty minutes of playing pool by himself, he finally comes over to a nearby barstool and engages with me like an adult. He starts looking me in the eye. He never ignores me to check his phone. There’s a glimpse of a thoughtful person in there, someone who knows he’s a caged animal. We talk music, and he mentions his love for pre–”Black Album” Metallica—”One,” “Fade to Black.” “Those are my jams,” he says. At last, we’ve got something in common. I feel no desire to punch him in the face anymore. I want to take him on a college tour and buy him sixty cheeseburgers. Seriously, the kid needs to add bulk.
Celebrity profiles are usually sloppy, boring blowjobs, but Drew’s whole piece is predictably great — the kicker at the end is especially wonderful — and you should all stop whatever you’re doing and go read it right now. RIGHT NOW!