Justin Bieber at the 'Never Say Never' premiere: 'I want to act' [Video]
Thousands of girls, decked out in glittery tops and toting camera phones, made the pilgrimage to L.A. Live in downtown Los Angeles on Monday night in hopes of spotting their pint-sized teen idol: Justin Bieber.
Hours before the premiere of "Never Say Never," the new documentary that follows the pop star on his recent concert tour, the hordes were already waiting outside the Nokia Theatre. Many didn't even have tickets. Some said they wanted to catch a glimpse of the singer with the infamous hairdo; others simply seemed to be enjoying the idea of indulging in Bieber Fever alongside fellow "Beliebers."
This Justin Bieber movie premiere was not -- could not -- be like any other movie premiere.
The carpet was purple, not red, in honor of the teen icon's favorite color. Bleachers were erected so more fans could get a glimpse of the action. Tween-friendly music from artists including Miley Cyrus, Willow Smith and, of course, Bieber himself blasted over the stereo system. And a team of cameramen was dispatched to follow Bieber's every move, so that fans at home could watch him throughout the night via Livestream.
The event was a family affair for many of the celebrities in Hollywood -- "Glee's" Jane Lynch brought her children to the movie, as did rapper Diddy and Bieber's mentor Usher. It was also populated by a slew of kid actors, all dressed like they were heading to prom.
Bieber was constantly surrounded by a mass of humanity, all shoving their way into his line of vision. But he never lost his cool, smiling nonchalantly and keeping an even pace as he made his way down the carpet, where he was barraged with a slew of questions about his rumored girlfriend, Disney star Selena Gomez. [More from Bieber below, after our video interview.]
Bieber told us he's interested in acting in a feature.
"I'm gonna start doing more movies -- start getting more scripts and start finding some things that I really wanna do," the 16-year-old said.
And what would that be, exactly? Manager Scooter Braun elaborated, saying the singer had been itching to team up with Will Ferrell.
"He knows every line from every Will Ferrell skit on 'SNL' and every movie. In fact, he did a whole interview once just quoting Will Ferrell," Braun said.
It's no surprise that Bieber wants to take on a character outside of himself. In "Never Say Never," audiences quickly learn that Bieber would rather do just about anything than talk about or examine himself. (We witnessed this first-hand last spring when we spent the day with the teen, who seemed less than interested in sitting down for an in-depth interview: "Justin Bieber & Co.")
The lack of insight into Bieber's psyche probably won't matter to the fans who turn up to see "Never Say Never" if the reaction inside the Nokia Theatre on Monday evening was any indication. Female fans were eager to, er, register their reaction whenever the singer was shown shirtless. (It happened about four times.) Images and video of him as a child, meanwhile, elicited coos from the crowd, even though many in the audience were not that far beyond childhood themselves.
But the loudest response came when Bieber was shown on stage. It was almost as if there were no difference between the girls in the audience on-screen and those inside the theater: They all waved purple glow sticks, mouthed the words to his songs and seemed to feel overwhelmed by their feelings for him.
Surprisingly, it was those feelings that director Chu said initially gave him pause about the project.
"He has such a strong fan base -- they love him so much -- that I did not want to mess this up," Chu said, perhaps only half-joking. "The camera thing was a little hard for [Justin] at first, but ultimately, I think he trusted me. He really opened up ... even with his struggles. Even when he was a brat, even when he was in a bad mood one day, he went and got through it."
-- Amy Kaufman
Photo: Expectant Justin Bieber fans at the "Never Say Never" premiere. Credit: Mario Anzuoni / Reuters
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