Miley Cyrus: I Needed to Let Go of Hannah Montana Image to Become "the Bad Bitch I Am"

Celebrity News Sep. 30, 2013 AT 10:30AM
Miley Cyrus performs onstage during the iHeartRadio Music Festival Miley Cyrus says that she needed to drop her Disney image in order to become "the bad bitch that I am" in a new MTV documentary. Credit: Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic

Is Miley Cyrus masterminding pop culture right now? In a new MTV documentary chronicling the months leading up to Cyrus' much-talked about MTV Video Music Awards performance, nude "Wrecking Ball" video and accompanying Bangerz album, the pop star seems to be very conscious of the fallout and outraged reactions her tweaking would incite -- in fact, she says, she planned for it.

"I just needed to let go of the past in a way," the button-pushing pop star says in Miley: The Movement, "so I felt like I could be the bad bitch I am."

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Spun off from her smash Disney show of the same name, her 2009 film, Hannah Montana: The Movie, ironically showed the title character (played by a long-haired Cyrus) getting ready to perform at a major awards show in New York City when her father (played by real-life dad Billy Ray Cyrus) forces her to go back home to Tennessee and her simple life there.

Cyrus, 20, further explains that her big leap into the adult world of foam fingers, nude-colored latex leotards and drugged-up teddy bears was the result of a very careful thought process.

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"You can watch that performance and think that's a hot mess," she says a few days after the show. "But it's a strategic hot mess. …If I wanted a raunchy sex show, I wouldn't have been dressed as a damned bear."

"How many times have you seen this play out in pop?" she points out of past provocateurs on the VMAs stage. "Madonna's done it. Britney's done it."

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The "Wrecking Ball" singer even tells collaborator Spears, who pops by Cyrus' recording studio, that she wanted to shake up the VMAs, and more than that, pop culture.

"People take the VMAs so seriously," she tells the "Ooh La La" singer. "I want to come out and shoot a hot dog gun!"

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At one point in the documentary, Cyrus' Bangerz collaborator and good friend Pharrell also adds in his two cents on the "movement" that is Miley.

"Her dad is Billy Ray Cyrus, her godmother is Dolly Parton, and she grew up in the era when kids listen to hip-hop," he says. "People ask, 'Why is she twerking? Why is she doing this?' Because she's a product of America."

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