What Happens When Ronan Farrow Interviews Miley Cyrus

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Beyond music, Cyrus is expanding her interests. After her breakup, she tells me, she asked Diane Martel, the director responsible for Cyrus’s “We Can’t Stop” and Robin Thicke’s “Blurred Lines” videos, to “just completely, like, drown me in new movies and books and art. I lived in Nashville, where that shit isn’t accessible.” We flip through a book of photographs by Cindy Sherman. “Check it,” she says as we arrive at Sherman’s Untitled #276, in which the artist poses as a kind of grungy Cinderella. “Lady Gaga completely ripped that off.” Cyrus is finding her taste in movies, too. She tells me she just watched the Tom Cruise 1990 drama Days of Thunder three nights in a row. She’s also newly enamored with the 1951 film version of A Streetcar Named Desire. “I’m Blanche to a T, complete psycho,” she burbles cheerfully. I stare at her. I literally cannot imagine anyone less like Tennessee Williams’s fragile, lost Blanche DuBois. “Every time I watched her,” she goes on, “I was always like, ‘That’s me!’ ” If Cyrus is a Vivien Leigh performance, it’s Scarlett O’Hara in the early scenes of Gone With the Wind. She’s impetuous, beautiful, smarter than many give her credit for, slow to listen, quick to talk, adept at using her sexuality to her own ends. As for the world beyond the arts, Cyrus is leery.

—Ronan Farrow, on Miley Cyrus in W Magazine.  Read more profiles in the Longreads archive.

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Photo: Wikimedia Commons

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Julia Wick is a contributing editor for Longreads.
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