A few Justin Bieber updates for you, from a damage-control cover story for the Hollywood Reporter: He doesn’t say “swag” anymore (“It’s kind of played out”), he really doesn’t care about the haters (“Not ‘I don’t give a f—’ to just be reckless and do whatever, but ‘I don’t give a f— what they say … I’m happy with the man I’m becoming”), and there is apparently a laundry list of celebrities that have offered him guidance: “Oprah Winfrey, Adam Levine and Mark Wahlberg each have reached out to Bieber via calls and emails to [Justin’s manager Scooter] Braun. Rita Wilson offered to have husband Tom Hanks counsel the young star. Eminem’s manager, Paul Rosenberg, told Braun: ‘If you ever want Eminem to talk to him, he would do it in a second. He cares about that kid.’” Drake even texts Braun when he sees a TMZ Bieber headline: “He’ll text me, like, ‘What the hell is going with this? I’m pissed. I’m calling him right now. I’m about to go in on him.’”
And while that’s all nice and flattering, we’re sure, Bieber already has a mentor: his BFF Jaden’s dad, Will Smith, whom he speaks with “weekly” about various emotional issues. Don’t forget, Will Smith was once a young star, as well:
But the most present mentor is Will Smith. Braun tells of a particularly tough time for Bieber around the time he returned from his world tour in May that prompted the movie star to drive to Bieber’s house and pull him out of bed for a three-hour talk. Bieber’s reaction, according to Braun: “He said, ‘Man, that makes me feel so loved. I woke up, and there’s Will Smith, one of, if not the, biggest movie stars on the planet. He took time out of his day for me.’ “
Now, Bieber and Smith have a weekly call to go over any potential issues, emotional or otherwise. (Scientology has never been discussed.) At the same time, Braun adds of Smith, “He’s telling me: ‘Justin’s got to go through it. You can’t stop him from going through it. That’s youth in itself. He’s a young man who’s growing up, and that’s what makes him interesting and relatable. Otherwise, he’d be some kind of weird robot.’”
Maybe the anti-“swag” sentiment came from Will. Good advice.