Not a girl, not yet a woman? Miley Cyrus can't seem to decide if she wants to just be a kid or if she wants to prove she's an adult -- which could explain recent headline-making antics like her sex-fueled VMAs performance, her naked "Wrecking Ball" video, and her statement that "weed is the best drug on earth." In new outtakes from the 20-year-old "We Can't Stop" singer's beyond-candid Rolling Stone interview, she explains to contributing editor Josh Eells that her raunchy VMAs appearance grew out of an "obsession" she had with an "adult baby" persona.
"I know what I'm doing. I know I'm shocking you. When I'm dressed in that teddy bear thing, I think that's funny," she says, referring to her costume for the show, a leotard designed to look like the face of a cartoonish bear. "I was saying yesterday, I had this obsession about this character that's like an adult baby. Like, if you see a baby do something like that, it's so warped and weird, but there's something creepily hot about it. So when I'm in that teddy bear suit, I'm like a creepy, sexy baby."
Speaking of things that are creepy, Cyrus tells Rolling Stone that she is not a fan of felines. "Cats are f--king creepy. Oh my God, cats are creepy," the pop star says. "Every time I see a cat, I think it's gonna turn on me. It's gonna turn for the worst. I don't ever see loyalty in cats. They're gonna scratch you, and then run away. Same with little dogs."
She continues: "Did you know Yorkies were bred to kill mice in the Queen's palace? I had a Yorkshire Terrier -- and if I was a rat, it definitely would have eaten me. And Chihuahuas are the most scary animals on the planet. I'm terrified of Chihuahuas."
Other critters and creatures are fine, she says -- as long as she's not on top of them. "I love animals, but I don't really like riding animals. Like, I don't love being on a horse -- it's just not my thing," she explains. "I feel kinda bad. Like, I just want to pet you. I don't really want to put you to work."
Cyrus doesn't mind being put to work herself, though. "I said I was going to take a year off before I made this record, [Bangerz]. But it's hard to take a break," she muses. "It's almost depressing when you're not working. You're so used to people calling your name, and that energy, and when you don't have it anymore...That's why I never complain about people wanting autographs or pictures. Because if there were a few days where no one asked, I'd probably be like, 'What the f--k's going on? Do people not like me?'"
She feels similarly ambivalent -- like some other superstars, perhaps -- about photographers clamoring to get a shot of her on the street. As she tells Eells: "I hate the paparazzi -- but when they're not sitting there waiting for you, you're like, 'Who's bigger news? Who are you trying to get a picture of?'"
For the moment, at least, few stars are as talked-about as Cyrus. Critics and fans alike are watching her every move as she gears up for the release of her much-anticipated new record, Bangerz, on Oct. 4.
"It's coming out soon, so right now I'm listening to it 20,000 times to make sure it's perfect. I have to make sure every detail is perfect," she says of her fourth studio LP, her follow-up to 2010's Can't Be Tamed. "There are albums that people are still listening to, like Michael Jackson's Bad, because it's so f--king dope. I want people to listen to my album like that."
The former Hannah Montana actress notes that she went through a phase where she listened only to the Pixies -- and she imagines her fans will have a similar connection to her music. "I'm going to be that artist to so many people, so I want to make sure my record is the best it can be," she tells Rolling Stone. "I'm trying to set a new standard for pop music. So it has to live up."
For even more outtakes from Rolling Stone's interview with Miley Cyrus, visit RollingStone.com.