My Next Guest Needs No Introduction with David Letterman (2018) s05e03 Episode Script

Miley Cyrus

[laid-back jazz playing]
[indistinct chatter]
[cheering and applause]
You were gonna introduce me,
but I'm gonna introduce you.
David Letterman is here.
[cheering and applause]
In true spirit, David Letterman
asked me to be on his show,
but I like to do things my own way,
and so I turned it around on him
and said, "You can be in my show,"
so this is my show.
How extra do you think
I can be on this round of the song?
Should I try to be, like like
like, as extra as I can?
[theme music playing]
[jazz combo playing]
My biggest fear
used to be, like, getting fired,
and now how good does that sound?
Every time someone's like,
"They might kick you"
"Maybe they don't want you to do
this anymore." I'm like, "Thank God."
I never wanted to do it.
I don't know why I was doing it.
"Oh, guess what? It's been canceled."
-[Miley] Yeah.
There's nothing I love more.
Not gonna lie.
When they said, "It's gonna rain,"
I'm like, "How much?"
Have you ever talked yourself
out of things you wish you had not?
Have you talked yourself
into things you wish you had not?
I almost talked myself
out of sitting here talking to you,
and I'm serious. I mean, I always know
Now, wait a minute!
Why would you talk yourself out of this?
'Cause I do have a bit of, um
I guess, just, like, caution
talking about, like, me,
and I feel that if I was gonna sit here
in a place like Chateau,
which is like another home for me,
in front of this fire,
in a setting that's supposed to be honest,
I'd wanna be, and I'd wanna be
I'd wanna be safe
because so much of my life,
I feel I've been unsafe
because the large crowds,
the, like, chasing of the tour buses.
I mean, there's been so much
for me that the
so much of "the show must go on,"
and I realize now the show can go on.
But "the show must go on"?
Like, that, I can't live by anymore.
Um And that's
what I told them at the Grammys
was that, once I did the dress rehearsal,
the day before the show,
I went to the producers,
and they said, "Are you happy with it?"
I go, "Yeah. I think I'm gonna do it,"
and all of them looked
like they were gonna vomit.
They were like, "What do you mean
you think you're gonna do it?"
I was like, "Well, I'm still
like, you know, I think so."
And they could not believe
that I was saying that
because obviously "Flowers" was gonna be
a real staple point in the show.
It was kind of important
that I actually do it.
So that night at the Grammys,
it seemed like an enormous celebration
of women in music now.
Are you friends with all of those women?
Do you get together and
I am not very active, I would say,
or very a part of my community
of other, like, artists
and entertainers and celebrities.
It just doesn't feel like my people
when I'm in that room.
But there are certain, um artists and
Like Beyoncé who I've I mean, like us.
We've known each other for a long time.
When I was probably 15,
I performed
with Beyoncé and all the girls.
I was, like, sandwiched
between Rihanna and the Queen Bey,
and they're fully grown up, gorgeous,
like, probably similar to my age now,
towering over me, completely stunning.
I'm, like, super small, have acne,
have braces on the back of my teeth,
and I'm standing next to Mariah Carey,
who's dripping in diamonds,
and Beyoncé was so kind to me,
and I've now, just from seeing her,
I've created, like, a relationship,
maybe a bit more in depth.
We haven't ever had this conversation,
so now maybe you and I might be more
friends than I'm friends with Beyoncé,
but Beyoncé and I have just I've just
The kindness
and consistency is everything,
so I'm a part of my community
in that way, but I
again, it's all quality, not quantity.
I'm not very active in that.
I know this is your show,
but it reminds me of a story.
-You know who Johnny Carson is?
-Mm-hmm. Of course.
And, to me, Johnny Carson
The first time I did The Tonight Show,
he's here and I'm there,
and you look over,
and it's like you're on a bus,
and you recognize,
"I've seen this guy on the $5 bill.
Holy shit. That's Abe Lincoln!"
-It was like that.
-And that never went away.
And, for some reason,
essentially misguided,
he would then invite me to dinner.
We'd go out to dinner,
and the last time we got together,
we toured up and down
the Hudson on his yacht.
-There you go.
-That's it!
-And I hated every minute of it.
-See, Beyoncé has a yacht too.
So out of everyone I picked
to be friends with at the Grammys,
I picked the one that has a yacht.
You and I are alike. I'm telling you!
-Like twins, for heaven's sake.
-We have similarities.
[relaxed Latin music playing]
-[Letterman] Oh, Miley?
Uh How is this different
than the process before a touring event?
Well, I'm not in a locker room.
-I'm in, like, a beautiful
historical hotel.
That makes sense. Sporting arenas.
Usually, you're in a locker room,
and they tell you
to wear flip-flops in the shower,
or you're gonna get fungus foot.
They're like, "It's so cool you're here."
"The whole football team,
this is their room."
I'm like, "I don't wanna be showering
where the whole football team"
If you had to, uh, do this
for the rest of your
let's say the next four years,
small venues around the country,
shows like we're about
to see here tonight,
would that be okay?
I think, like, boredom is torture for me.
And so, I wouldn't want
to commit to four years,
just in case I get bored.
But you're still you're still doing
what you like to do, which is perform.
But sometimes,
after two and a half years,
maybe you don't like it as much
as two and a half years before.
So you might stop altogether.
You wouldn't then decide,
"I need to go back
to Madison Square Garden."
Or maybe the Ritz or the Four Seasons,
somewhere else with a nice room,
but at some point,
you know, the secret will be out
'cause, right now,
it's an invite-only, you know?
It's very exclusive,
and so right now it's sacred.
[Letterman] Here we are
at the Chateau Marmont.
And this is you. You are of it.
What's the appeal? What's the connection?
-It's a delightful place.
-It is. Um
One, I love who walks
in the door in this place
because you really never know
exactly who that's gonna be.
And obviously, it's a very legendary
and iconic hotel in LA,
and that's for a reason.
Built in 1929.
-[Miley] Yeah, a lot of history.
-[Letterman] Started as apartments.
Now a hotel. A friend of mine, a year ago,
maybe a year ago, was saying,
"Miley is doing shows
in the lobby of the Chateau Marmont,
and she's doing this to see"
I don't know.
You were trying to experience something,
and somebody said it was pending
the appearance at the Grammys.
-If this went well, maybe you would
-Is that true?
Well, so I had a show in Mexico City,
um, a year from the first time
I ever played at the Chateau Marmont,
and I had
a really tough experience with it.
It was still pretty fresh out
of Covid lockdown,
um and it was
about 130-plus-thousand people, and
[Letterman] Mexico City.
-[Miley] And it was really overwhelming.
-[Letterman] Intimate gathering.
Was that the largest headcount
for a show for you?
Maybe, if not yeah, if not the closest.
I've toured. I've performed.
I've been in stadiums my entire life and
-Isn't that crazy?
-Being isolated.
In your entire life,
you've been in stadiums.
Other than some professional athletes,
nobody can make that claim.
-Even athletes can't make that claim.
-Even when I was a baby
That's nuts!
[Miley] my dad would bring me up,
like, full Simba
and like, hold me up over the crowd, and
-Full Simba.
-[Miley] Full Simba.
And I actually I always really loved it.
Um, like, I never cried.
It wasn't something I didn't wanna do.
I actually loved it,
and by the time I was old enough
to what he calls "escape the nanny,"
I would,
and I would get myself out there
and try to grab the microphone and sing.
So I've always been
around, like, large crowds and stadiums,
but then, once I was locked down
and went into isolation for over a year,
then being integrated
into 130,000-plus people
was very overwhelming for me,
and I didn't really know
how to process it,
and it gave me a lot of anxiety.
But to get to the Chateau,
how we got there
was that I played the show in Mexico,
and that was in November,
and a year later, last November,
was my first Chateau show,
and I put this on myself,
and it was a couple days
before my birthday,
and my birthday gift to myself
was reclaiming
my love of performance and music,
and knowing that music can be
for thousands or millions of people
like if you're performing at the Grammys,
but it can just be
for your intimate friends and family
or a gift to yourself.
But the same satisfaction,
probably more satisfaction,
because just the nature of,
"These people now are your friends."
Not your
I don't know what to call
130,000 people looking at you sing.
You knew of the Chateau Marmont before
you actually worked in the lobby, right?
Yes, I've had a lot of good times here.
That's the other thing it carries.
It carries a history.
For me personally, I feel like there's a
you know, it's kind of like
a "if the walls could talk" feeling here.
I saw your face change noticeably
when you said you had good times here.
-I did.
-In a way that I think I understand.
-Yeah, I had good times here.
[gentle jazz piano playing]
I'm thrilled to get
a chance to talk with you,
and I'll tell you why,
and it's only peculiar to me,
only interesting to me why I'm thrilled.
I don't think anybody else
would understand this dynamic.
-You and I met once before.
And I think maybe only once,
maybe twice before, but once before,
-I used to do a show on CBS every night.
You were a guest on that show,
and I think it was 2010.
It was.
Here's the lovely,
the talented Miley Cyrus, everyone.
[Miley] I know it was 2010
because of everything that I was wearing
and my hairstyle.
-[Letterman] Right.
-[Miley] That doesn't happen anymore.
For me or for anyone else.
-You were, like, 17, right?
-I was.
So I wanna know from you now,
what was your perspective?
What were you doing then?
Where were you at 17
that you are much different place now?
I was so busy at that time
in my life as a young person.
-You were still doing the TV show?
-Yes, I was still doing the TV show.
Toward the end of that run.
Yeah, I think
I was just kinda discovering myself
and my, like, own identity
outside of the character
'cause I'd almost played a character
for as long as I'd been myself.
Um, and that was kind of
I guess it did change me
in the way that I developed
as a character
as much as I developed as myself,
so I do feel that I have been interwoven
with that character.
That character is almost, like, alive
in who I am now.
So yes, I am very different
from the person that sat with you
that many years ago.
But also, there's a lot that's still alive
and a lot that's still the same.
And was it And this is again just for me.
Was it a good experience for you?
-I remember it, but I more so
-[laughs] What an endorsement.
Listen to this. I just remember
that I had on something
that, like, was very what I thought
was super cool in 2010.
And now, when I see photographs
of, like, me sitting next to you,
um I don't ever need to do my hair
like that ever again.
-Probably the same is true for me.
-Or wear flared leather pants. I was
I just wanted people to know
that I wasn't Hannah Montana,
and I think, you know,
Hannah's silhouette was kind of like
a puffy skirt and Doc Martens,
and I wanted to make sure everyone knew
that I was not that person.
Was this the beginning
or the nascent part,
or were you well into kind
of taking yourself out of that identity?
I think, when I met you, I was probably
a year or two into my
-The departure?
I hadn't quite left the show,
but I had started experiencing life.
Like, I had definitely been drunk
by the time I saw you.
I had drank,
I had probably smoked some pot,
and I remember, actually,
there was, like, a producer on set.
And he said, "I can tell that this lion
is not going to go back into the cage,"
because I had just found
a wildness in myself,
and I never thought about it.
"This lion is not going back in the cage."
And I just remember everything changed
when I started
just, like, experiencing my life.
-And then
-Stuff that 17-year-olds might experience.
-[soft jazz playing]
You thought of yourself as being wide open
when you were much younger.
-You wanted to be open.
You felt that that proved
your honesty to yourself, to the world.
It's all I knew.
All I've ever known is honesty.
My parents, my mother,
who you'll meet later
-Tish. She is just honest.
And she doesn't know
how to be any other way but herself.
My mom is just the warmest,
most charismatic, bubbly, honest person,
um, and I do think
I inherited that from her,
but everything I felt,
I just thought was meant to be shared
because it was honest.
And now I've learned that Dolly,
who is my godmother, kinda does it best.
She is Dolly.
She is herself, but there are layers.
Um That creates this, like
We feel, like, so close to her,
but we don't feel like we just know her.
Um There are still things
that stay sacred to her.
-Um, including parts of our relationship.
-Well, let's talk about Dolly.
'Cause it's hard to bring up Dolly Parton.
-And then sweep it.
-Just like, "That Dolly Parton?"
"No, not that Dolly Parton."
Uh, the relationship began
when you were a tiny kid,
three years old,
five years old, eight years old.
So I don't remember our first meeting.
I was so young.
My dad and her worked together
in the '90s, and then
When you say "worked together,"
they would tour? Concerts?
Yeah, they had music together,
and I think my dad even toured with her.
And so then when she played my aunt,
she played my godmother on the TV show,
it just fit.
This is what I mean by my character
actually seeped into who I really am.
There is a part of
Because I was developing
as a human during that time
of playing a character,
parts of me,
I don't really know the difference.
Parts of me are that character,
including a little bit
of my relationship with Dolly.
I mean, Hannah Montana is famous
for wearing a blond wig
and kinda having this other persona
that she can turn off
and be a regular girl by day
and have
this, like, superstar life at night.
And I realize that's something Dolly has
been doing pretty much her entire life.
Now, she's always in the wig,
and she's always in the Dolly.
It's not about
-"She's in the Dolly."
-She's always in the Dolly!
It's not about
the external, like, performance
of her creating this character.
So we do know, you've described aptly
what we know of her,
which is, I think, 360 degrees
but not completely 360 degrees.
Tell us something that we would
that we would have to catch our breath
to learn about Dolly.
-I mean, first of all, Dollywood.
They're just printing money over there,
aren't they?
Dollywood, one of the things I could share
she really eats Dollywood food,
like often.
If she asked me
what I want for lunch, it's like
She eats the Dollywood food.
I think the thing
I could tell you about Dolly, um
without sharing that sacred part
of our relationship with everyone
is that she isn't afraid
to have the tough conversations.
Okay, give us an example
of a tough conversation.
A tough conversation I had with her,
I told her, "I'm wondering
if I'm gonna do the Grammys or not,"
and she said, "Well,
of course you're gonna do the Grammys,
and you're not just gonna show up,
but you're going to show off,
and you're gonna be everything
that you are
sitting right here in front of me,"
and she said,
"And don't forget about the beauty."
"You know, the hair,
the makeup, the whole show."
You know, it's armor for us,
and, you know, she said to me, like
She has a good way of saying it.
She's always said this to me.
"You do you, and I'll do me,
and together, we'll be us."
So she wasn't telling me to be Dolly.
She wasn't telling me be fabulous,
hide behind the sparkles and the hair.
-She was telling me to be me.
-[upbeat acoustic guitar music playing]
What I was gonna say about glam
that I think it's kinda interesting,
'cause I know you studied
You refer to it as glam, but this is
just makeup is what we're talkin' about.
But there's a, like we said,
an intention here.
-I just got a dirty look
-It's glam!
-from this man! He looked at me like
-"It's not makeup!"
-"It's glam!"
-I'm so sorry!
But, you know, you had to study me
before we had this conversation.
I've done some studying of you,
and you've kind of looked
the same for, like, a really long time.
-Is that good or bad?
-Well, it's not either. It's just a fact.
Well, it depends
on how you looked like in the beginning.
[Miley] Well, what I mean is
getting ready is something
that's very familiar to me,
something I've been doing all my life.
It's something that I know as much
or more than I know anything else.
I mean, I've been getting ready
longer than I've been driving.
Like, I know getting ready.
-[Letterman] Mm-hmm.
-You know?
Let me ask you, "Destiny Hope Cyrus."
-[Miley] Yes.
-What was goin' on there?
-Uh What do you mean "What was going on"?
-[Letterman] That's a
-It's a big shoe to fill.
-Well, that's what I'm striving for.
-[Miley] Well
-Did your folks ever explain that to you?
My parents thought it was my destiny
to bring hope to the world.
-[Letterman] That's lovely.
-It is lovely.
-But a lot to load on a kid.
-[Miley] It is a lot, and by the time
But I do think that,
from the beginning, it set an intention,
which we don't always have.
I mean, sometimes the intention
of having children is just,
"I wonder what me and my partner would
look like"
-[car horn honks]
-"if we mixed together." Hey!
-[chuckles] I'll be right out!
-[Miley] Um [chuckles]
-[chuckles] Your Uber is waiting.
-[Letterman] Yes!
I knew you weren't gonna stay
for the show!
Should I get my mom?
Okay, Mom. I can't talk anymore
'cause I'm getting my lips done.
Can you come take over?
Should I be worried
about your mother arriving?
No, she knows we're talking about glam,
and if you talk about glam
-[Miley] we got things to say.
-[Tish] I'm like, "Did I hear glam?"
-[Miley] You heard glam!
"Did somebody say glam?"
-[Letterman] Hi.
-[Tish] How are you?
-Who are you?
[Tish] Who are you? You're cute.
Oh! Oh my
Well, Miley said
I said, "I'm a little scared,"
and she goes, "Just flirt with him."
I said, "That's easy."
This is This is your mother!
-[Tish chuckles]
-[Miley] What? It works!
It's called emotional manipulation.
It works every time.
Women are so good at it.
-Here, sit down, Mom.
-[Tish] Okay.
-Uh Wow. Nice meeting you.
-[Tish] Nice meeting you.
Thank thank you for the, uh, time,
uh, with your daughter and yourself.
I would not have missed it.
-I was
-[Miley] That's not true!
-Well, that isn't true.
-[Miley] She was gonna try to miss it.
She called me last night and was like
No, she sent me a text,
[in Southern accent] "Hey, MC.
I really hope you can understand."
"I just don't think
I can do Letterman tomorrow."
-"I'm so nervous about it."
-[Letterman] I get that from my family.
[Tish] Yeah.
Everything I know of you is is amazing
because, um, to work with a family member,
uh, your young daughter,
and to to oversee both aspects,
multiple aspects of that existence
and still maintain
a friendly, happy relationship
is remarkable
and a great, I think, testament to you.
And how does one do that?
She must've been
incorrigible at some point.
Listen, there were times
that she was doing crazy stuff
that every child does.
"That every child does."
That's the part they leave out.
But I also read
that she had a curfew until she was 20.
-[Tish] She did.
-Now, that's inhumane.
Amnesty International
would come investigate that.
-Listen, rules are meant to be broken.
-[Tish] Well, that's true.
Just 'cause I had one
didn't mean I followed one.
But, honestly, like, that's
my goal was to keep Miley home
as long as possible under my roof.
And honestly, I think
my biggest fear was her moving out.
You know,
she definitely had financial ways
to be able to move out before she was 18,
and you see that a lot
with kids in Hollywood,
but she didn't.
She was at home, and I think
I really picked my battles with her.
[Miley] Okay, you two.
Get a room. I gotta get ready.
-Oh my Gosh!
-[Miley] What? Sorry. Gotta go.
-[Letterman] Yikes!
-Well, you know.
Gotta get out of here. I know
everything in this room is inventoried.
-[elevator dings]
-[jazz piano playing]
The first time you sang "Flowers"
was in this building?
-Am I accurate about that?
-Yeah. Yeah.
Uh And why was Why that venue? Why then?
And tell me about that song,
what it what it means,
and everything else
you need to tell me about that song.
Okay, this is a good one.
What's special about "Flowers"
is that it's a story and a song
that I earned.
The story is honest, um
and it's not a lottery ticket.
these songs can be lottery tickets.
-What does that mean?
-Meaning they fall into your lap somehow.
-Oh, I see.
-Like, a song like "Party in the USA."
That was a lottery ticket.
That, out of all the people in the world,
they had written this song,
and they found me
and thought I was the voice for it,
and it doesn't go much deeper than that.
And I think you can tell
in the resonance of that song.
You can tell the difference of the depth
of a song like "Party in the USA."
Not just in the subject itself,
but in the emotional detachment
that I have from that song.
On, like, a song like "Flowers"
that I'm extremely emotionally attached to
because I lived every syllable of it.
What I liked about it
is that, um the theme of it is so simple.
It's It's It's not, um
You don't have to think too deeply
to come up with,
"Yeah, but I can buy myself flowers."
But in practical application,
that's a pretty big stretch
when you're up to your nose in that mess.
Yeah, and, well, the thing is,
actually, when I wrote "Flowers,"
I was going back and forth on the chorus.
At first, we had written,
"I can hold my own hand,
but I can't love me like you can,"
and it was more kinda 1950s.
There was, like, a real sadness to it,
um, and when I went home,
I kept going back and forth,
and I really couldn't decide
because both felt equally true.
Um, both felt alive in the same way,
and both felt special
and honest for people. Um
There is a difference in having
outside love from someone else.
There is a different feeling
of buying flowers for yourself
and receiving them from someone
that cares about you. There is.
And then, the celebration
that I guess I had never even
thought about it that way.
I had never thought so many of the things
that we're looking for in a relationship,
we actually can just bring to ourselves,
but first you gotta have not only
a healthy relationship with yourself
You gotta love being you.
But it also highlights the things
you might miss
about being in that relationship.
"I can buy my own flowers.
I can hold my own hand."
"Yeah, but that's kinda
not what I was hoping for."
That's why it's kind of one of the sadder
I think it's one of the sadder songs
that I've actually ever written.
Was it cathartic? Did you
Did it put you in a different place?
I'm tellin' you, writing it feels one way,
but having it loved, and so loved,
feels entirely different.
I've actually never felt so proud
of a song for doing well,
and I guess it's what we talked about,
the lottery ticket.
It's because it was earned,
it feels different
when people really relate to it.
-The response to it was overwhelming.
-How's everybody doing?
Having a good time?
We were good ♪
Gold ♪
Kinda dream that can't be sold ♪
Oh, we were right ♪
Till we weren't ♪
Built a home ♪
Then watched it burn ♪
Ooh, yeah, I didn't wanna leave you ♪
I didn't wanna fight ♪
I started to cry ♪
Then remembered ♪
I'm in Alaïa.
I can buy myself flowers ♪
Write my name in the sand ♪
Talk to myself for hours ♪
Say things you don't understand, oh-oh ♪
Oh, I can take myself dancing
Yeah-eh-eh ♪
I can hold my own hand ♪
Yeah, I can love me better
Than you can, babe ♪
Paint my nails cherry red ♪
Match the roses that you left ♪
Ooh, no remorse ♪
Oh, I've got no regrets, babe, uh ♪
I forgive every word you said ♪
But I won't forget.
That I didn't wanna leave you, baby ♪
Yeah, I didn't wanna fight ♪
I started to cry, then ♪
Remembered that I'm with all of you.
I can buy myself flowers ♪
Yeah, write my name in the sand ♪
Talk to myself for hours ♪
Say things you don't understand ♪
I can take myself dancing
All night long ♪
I can hold my own hand ♪
Ooh, 'cause I can love me better
Than you can ♪
Can love me better
I can love me better, baby ♪
Can love me better
I can love me better, babe ♪
Can love me better
I can love me better, babe ♪
Can love me better, I ♪
I didn't wanna leave you ♪
Had to.
I didn't wanna fight ♪
Started to cry, then remembered I ♪
I can buy myself flowers, yeah, yeah ♪
Write my name in the sand, oh-oh-oh-oh ♪
Talk to myself for hours, oh-oh ♪
Say things you don't understand ♪
But you never will ♪
Oh, I can take myself dancing
Yeah-eh-eh ♪
I can hold my own hand, ooh ♪
'Cause I can love me better than ♪
Yeah, I can love me better than
You can ♪
Oh oh-oh-oh ♪
Than you can ♪
Oh oh-oh ♪
Ah ♪
[cheering and applause]
There's a quote that I heard from you
that I don't fully understand.
Uh, "I'm a creative person,
but I also know I was created," and
-We all are.
So explain how that works.
What does that mean?
So I was born creative. I know this.
Since I was little, I was writing songs
and kinda like drawing abstract
and obscure things.
Like, I'm naturally creative,
but there are different sides or personas
to myself, and to everyone,
that some of them,
we show to only certain people,
and some of them,
we never show to anyone at all.
So I kind of do that
on a really public scale,
but I wanted to be clear that that persona
or that character is not an alter ego.
It's absolutely
an extension of my essence.
It's my nature. It's who I am.
I just don't have it in me
to not live in, like, a truth,
but we all know
that there's a ton of things
that can be true at once,
even when they contradict each other.
Can we talk about the early part
of your show-business life?
The Hannah Montana of it all.
Explain to me how this happens.
Uh, where How old are you
There was one audition,
and they said, "No, you're too young."
So what happens?
Do they hire somebody older
or postpone the whole production?
They did.
When they first were doing the casting,
they did not hire me, and they did shoot
a pilot with another girl,
and then they showed it to the people.
They showed it to children.
-Focus group.
-And they weren't relating with her.
-Little brats!
-They didn't like her.
I love them for that.
And so then,
I was, like, at home in Tennessee growing.
I was, like, trying to get
my canine teeth to come down.
-Are you a schoolkid at this point?
-I am, yeah. I'm at school.
And, um they called me,
and they said, "Come back out."
When you say, "The entire family
moves from Tennessee to LA,"
who are we talking about?
So, at first, it was just me
My mom is gonna be better at this.
I have a terrible memory
because I also inherited the narcissism
from my father
that I don't know anything
about my siblings,
except for the part that I was doing.
-So I It's true.
It's okay. It's okay.
He I was moving to LA,
and that's all I really knew,
and I was so young, too,
that I was just excited
that I was gonna get
to be on Disney Channel
because I watched it.
No anxiety about leaving school,
leaving friends?
I was so stoked.
I did not like being at school.
I had major bullies.
I was bullied terribly.
Bullied on what grounds?
Um When I was in sixth grade,
it was definitely hard to
Just it's it's hard
being a girl in middle school.
You have a son, right?
Having a girl, it's a different world.
So middle school, again,
not looking my best.
Um, I was also very small,
so the bigger girls
would kinda like physically push me.
-They were verbally abusive
and actually violent.
And so I was, like,
scared to go to the bathroom at school
'cause I'd be scared one of the bullies
were going to beat me up,
And I was just I I really did not have
a pleasant experience in school.
So when You get there,
and now this is this is Disney,
and and I was stunned by this fact,
that it was
the most successful, um, production,
television-syndicated program,
product in their history.
-Uh, maybe even more than the mice.
And the merchandise,
a total of a billion-plus dollars.
So at what point did you think,
"Oh, I'm so lucky.
Oh, I'm so lucky. Oh, I'm so lucky"?
Did you begin to realize after that,
"I got these bastards by the nose"?
I don't think I did think
I had them by the nose, and I'm not
I guess I did,
but we didn't I didn't know.
Like, me and my mom,
we're not, like, calculated like that,
and so we didn't really
I didn't know the power that I had
until I was older.
-I actually didn't know that.
-Was it fun? It was a lot of work, eh?
Like I said, it's fun and it's hard,
uh, but it was both. It was both.
I mean, I was asked the other day
at a small dinner with my friends
We were playing this game
asking these kind of in-depth questions,
and they asked me
what would my perfect life look like.
And my perfect life would kinda be
the synopsis of my TV show.
It would be to be normal by day
and a superstar by night,
and one of my wishes
is to travel the world anonymously,
to be able to walk down
and experience cities that I've been to,
but I've been on tour.
That'd be my perfect life,
is to be exactly who I am right now,
but to travel anonymously.
[mellow jazz playing]
I hear a lot of people say,
in interviews, this, that, and the other,
um "My father is my hero."
Well, that ain't gonna happen at my house.
Did you ever feel that way
about your father?
[Miley sighs softly]
I mean, honestly, my mom is my hero,
and, uh my father,
I'm grateful for
first, his genes.
My dad has great hair, and I got that.
Um, but he also he has
a relationship and a foot on the ground
to to, like, the real and to nature,
and he always did,
even when he was super famous.
I'm grateful for being able
to watch him ahead of me.
He's almost, like, given me this map,
and there is a map of what to do
and what not to do,
and he's been he's guided me on both.
Um And I do think,
him and I,
we have really different upbringings.
The way that my dad was raised,
he grew up very poor in a very small town.
His parents were divorced
when he was very young.
My dad had a pretty rough childhood,
and my childhood, really
I mean, we can go and talk
about the hard times or the struggles.
Turning in my homework
and learning my lines was tough,
but I had food, I had love,
I grew up in a beautiful big house,
and my dad didn't have that.
And so I have a lot
of empathy and compassion
for his childhood,
which obviously developed
to create the man that he is now,
that I have a lot of love for.
But he must've been
fundamentally important,
the way your mother was
in your early career,
uh, and gets credit for 50%?
The same amount
as your mother gets or not?
[Letterman clears his throat]
They're different. They can't be
weighed on the same scale, actually.
Without my dad, I know
I mean, not just literally, I wouldn't be
sitting in this chair, I wouldn't exist,
but I would not,
who I am as a person, it wouldn't exist
because my dad as a creative
and, like, as an artist,
in the way that his brain works,
has always made me feel
safer in my own mind
because we're very similar
in some of our ideas.
Um So I think a lot of, like,
his perspective on reality and on life,
I've inherited from him
more so than the way that I was raised,
which, really, my mom raised me.
Is it unlikely
that both parents would share equal role
going through your life
um that it's always gonna be
one or the other is is closer
as things evolve,
as things mature, as they
It's really just not the closeness.
I think it's, like, the capacity
in which my mom was raised
by a completely intact, beautiful family.
Actually, my mom was adopted,
and so my mom was chosen,
and, um,
her parents couldn't have children,
so they wanted her
more than anything in the world,
and so my mom came
into this world being wanted
and being loved
and being given the most beautiful life.
Like, my grandmother spoiled not only her
but me completely rotten.
My dad didn't have that.
I found that interesting
because you come across many times
where it's not only
the mother who's important,
but her mother who's important.
My grandma is everything.
She's tattooed on my arm.
-Is that right?
-She's everything. That's my grandma.
That's my mammy.
She ran my fan club until she died,
and she answered every single letter
sent by a fan to my fan club
until she died, every single day,
all day long.
Uh, so, anyway, to put a period on this,
there's not estrangement here
with your father.
It's just kinda the way things are played.
[Miley] Yeah. I think
what is so beautiful
is that my parents, they served
their children, and I know this.
My parents served us
and sacrificed so much for us.
Anything we dreamed of,
they made possible.
[upbeat jazz playing]
Where You're You're sober,
so what does that mean?
I will randomly take
maybe one small puff off my mom's joint,
pretty much never
because it's way too strong.
My mom gave Wiz Khalifa a panic attack
'cause her weed was too heavy,
so, actually, I retract that statement.
I don't smoke my Mom's weed anymore
because the other day I came to her house
Maybe the last time I smoked her weed
was a couple weeks ago,
and I did walk in
and take the smallest puff ever,
and I couldn't drive
for, like, what felt like three days.
-And I didn't know who I was.
Was she smokin' the whole time
you lived with her?
No, so what happened was,
actually, we had gotten some weed
while I was on tour.
Me, the background dancers,
the band, and everyone,
and I had told my mom separately, "I think
this could be really good for you."
My mom had a lot of anxiety.
She had trouble sleeping.
And just in general,
she was kinda like high-strung.
I was like, "I think you'll like this."
So she goes, "Okay, but don't tell anybody
'cause I'm a good Christian woman.
I wanna make sure"
But she loved it.
She had the best time,
and she's smoked weed ever since.
Okay, so now the idea of you being sober
You're sober parenthetically
except for the occasional hit on a joint.
Occasional hit on a joint, and that's
And I not even! Like, usually,
I fake it to be cool for my mom.
-Like, I don't even smoke weed.
-Wow, is this upside down!
And I do think CBD
has been really helpful for me. Um
-What effect does that have?
-Zero! It doesn't do anything.
That's the point.
All my friends that are stoners
My mom. "My friends that are stoners"!
My mother, she always says,
"What's the point of that?"
I'm like, "It's weed, but doesn't
get you high." And she's like, "Useless!"
But, uh, you know,
it does help me out in some ways.
But the smoke of it all,
I don't care what you're smoking,
it's still irritation in your
-Definitely irritation.
-your lungs, your esophagus, your
So this is brings to mind the phrase
that my friend Paul Shaffer dearly loves
Love Paul!
-"Vegas throat."
By the way, Paul loved the experience
of you and he and Bill Murray
working together.
I loved that also.
We got to sing in Washington, D.C.
with each other also.
-I was there.
-You were there?
So you know
I've never smoked weed before a concert.
I remember you came up
and proudly announced you were gooned.
Well, why the f
Why'd I decide to do that that day?
I don't know.
-Remember I forgot a lotta the words?
-I don't remember that.
Then Paul Shaffer, all he said was,
"We're doin' that again."
-And we just started over.
-That part, I do remember!
I had never done that. The only time
I had ever forgotten lyrics to a song
Another terrible time to do this.
I was playing Carnegie Hall with Bono.
-What a dump!
-I decided to get wasted the night before.
And I actually said
if I ever write a book,
it's gonna be called
And I've Never Heard from Bono Again.
Because it's kinda like where you're
Like, this is this is it.
Like, you have made it.
You are at Carnegie Hall,
performing with Bono,
and I decided to get wasted.
[classical guitar music playing]
Sitting here talking with you,
I hear, um different voices
that remind me of different women
who I know who sing,
and and and I wondered wondering,
when you were
a child and you found a voice
who were you singing in your head then?
-It probably wasn't you necessarily.
You were emulating someone?
-I guess we all like I guess all of us
-That's how it starts, yes.
We're like cocktails
of all the things that have inspired us.
-Um Stevie Nicks a lot.
And Tina a lot.
Um Dolly, obviously. Um
As I was getting older
I don't sound like Céline Dion.
I wish I did.
-But I did listen to a lotta Céline Dion.
-What about Brittany Howard?
Love Brittany Howard.
Working with Shawn Everett right now,
who did the Alabama Shakes album.
Brittany Howard's
one of my favorite singer-songwriters.
-Janis Joplin?
-Of course.
I cover Janis Joplin when I
used to perform
for hundreds of thousands of people.
It's fun when you see the fans
'cause some of them are coming there
to hear the
they're coming
to see different versions of me.
Some of them are coming to see, you know,
the person that they grew up with.
Some wanna hear the "Party in the USA."
Some of them wanna hear
the new unreleased stuff.
Some of them like where I'm at,
and some of 'em really get into the covers
because my fans really rediscover music.
Here's a little glimpse
of the Letterman household.
I'm down in my room with the lights dim,
and I'm I come upon you,
um doing a cover.
-And I scream, "Holy shit!"
And my wife Regina comes running in.
She doesn't really run in.
And she says, "What's going on?
I say, "She's covering Pink Floyd!"
And I said, "Nobody" Excuse me.
-"Nobody covers Pink Floyd."
I did cover that
when I was in Vegas for like
It's kind of the last thing
I should've done probably
at, like, a Vegas iHeartRadio event.
No! Why?
Because I can't remember
who was in front of me,
but it was probably, you know, like,
"And now, after Justin Timberlake,
very exciting,
Miley's gonna come sing songs
that none of you guys give a shit about."
-But please! What does that say about me?
-You know what? I did it for you.
God bless you.
Someone at home in the downstairs
basement's watching this.
Occasionally, you'll hear Pink Floyd,
but you never hear
And I thought,
"Oh my God, she was part of Pink Floyd."
Listen, I did "Boy Named Sue"
when I was on
my South American tour for Bangerz,
and it went as you could imagine.
-It wasn't a real hit.
It was, like, in the era
of which I'm riding on a giant hot dog
and sliding down my own tongue,
and then I take a break to sing
"Boy Named Sue"?
In a place
where there is a language barrier,
so the joke
wasn't completely landing either.
I thought this was, uh
I do believe this is admirable
because, as much as one goes
to see an artist
perform the music of that artist,
what a delight to have
this or that sprinkled in there.
I was pleasantly stunned.
You are one of very few,
if not the only straight man
to ever come to one of these events.
It's invite only,
and it's kind of like
you gotta be gay to get an invite.
And another one of a David
who I really, really like, David Byrne,
he asked me to be
a part of Stop Making Sense.
They're rereleasing this album,
and they're having people cover the songs.
But, again, I like to do things my way.
So not only did I cover it,
but I also rewrote it.
And No, I did.
And my interpretation was like
David Byrne does Johnny Cash
doing Kylie Minogue.
-So that's this version.
-And we're gonna play it for you.
-[cheering and applause]
[playing country music]
I can't seem to face up to the facts ♪
I'm tense and nervous
And I can't relax ♪
I can't sleep ♪
'Cause my bed's on fire ♪
Don't touch me, baby ♪
I told you I'm a real live wire ♪
No, I can't seem
To face up to the facts ♪
No, no, no ♪
I'm tense and nervous
And I can't relax ♪
I can't sleep ♪
'Cause my bed's on fire ♪
No, don't touch me, babe ♪
Yeah, I told you I'm a real live wire ♪
If you know the song,
this is the regular part.
Psycho Killer, qu'est-ce que c'est? ♪
Fa-fa-fa-fa fa-fa-fa-fa ♪
Better run, run, run, run ♪
Run, run, run away ♪
My new part.
Oh oh-oh-oh-oh ♪
I love you, Psycho Killer ♪
I'mma love you forever ♪
You know I'll never run away ♪
I'll never run away ♪
I love you, Psycho Killer ♪
I'mma love you forever ♪
You know I'll never run away ♪
Who wants to hear Tennessee French?
Ce que j'ai fait, ce soir ♪
Ce que elle a dit, ce soir-là ♪
Ce soir-là-ah-ah ♪
Ah-ah ♪
Réalisant mon espoir ♪
Je me lance vers la gloire ♪
Ce que j'ai fait ♪
Ce soir ♪
Ah-ah-ah ♪
Yeah ♪
Yeah ♪
Oh yeah-yeah ♪
Yeah ♪
Whoa-oh-oh oh-oh♪
I love you, Psycho Killer ♪
I'mma love you forever ♪
You know I'll never run away ♪
I could never run away ♪
I love you, Psycho Killer ♪
I'mma love you forever ♪
You know I'll never run away ♪
I could never run away ♪
I could never run away ♪
[cheering and applause]
Thank you very much.
-Are you gonna do the David Byrne parts?
Um, you know, um
I don't know who you people are.
I don't know how you got in here,
but you understand
how lucky you are to witness this, right?
[audience members] Yeah! [cheering]
What a beautiful instrument.
What a lovely woman.
And also, nice meeting Tish.
Uh This was so good,
as I'm sitting there,
I'm thinking I might be gay.
[whooping and applause]
So we'll we'll do some tests,
and I'll get back to ya.
-God bless you.
-Thank you.
Thank you.
Miley Cyrus.
[cheering and applause]
By the tapering of your pants,
I had already thought that.
I'm glad that you have caught on.
We're two hours from Palm Springs.
You can start all over right now.
[cheering and applause]
[theme music playing]
[music fades]
Previous Episode