Selena Gomez will be released on Friday Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me, the story Alek Keshishian directed, six years in the making, about some of his darkest, most vulnerable moments. Which 30-year-old singer is most excited to share an Apple TV documentary? “My mom hasn’t seen it yet, and I’m so excited,” she said slowly. “He wanted to wait and watch with me. He was very supportive and we are very good about it, so I am happy.
Keshishian, who is best known for his genre-changing 1991 documentary, Madonna: Truth or DareGomez first debuted in 2016. She began a world tour for her 2015 album, Healing, but after 55 days and three countries, the journey ends. At the time, Gomez said she was struggling with anxiety and depression after a 2014 lupus diagnosis. Keshishian stopped filming while he was receiving treatment, although his salary was low in the years that followed; In 2017, Gomez suffered from kidney failure and later revealed that she had bipolar disorder. She took on these health challenges in a famous light, and it’s still showing when the couple starts filming again in 2019. Some of the footage from those days is almost disturbing, but The vulnerable and open Gomez is still there, and because of the closed shows you have the image of a woman who has struggled with public life without compromising on something quiet and manageable. .
Last week, Gomez and Keshishian joined from private sessions on Zoom to talk about the challenges of dating and why social media can’t restore the authenticity of a person’s face. out.
CO: Even though this documentary is about mental health, to me it’s like a love letter to friendship, especially the relationship between you and Raquelle. Selena, you have become famous in your adult life. Is it hard to get a girlfriend as an adult?
SG: I mean, it’s really hard. It’s very hard to find honest people. I’ve known Raquelle for 10 years and we get along well. We’ve fought and it’s all over. And I think what made me love Raquelle so much and continue to love her so much is that she’s the kind of person I’ll always be. It’s nice to have someone who is very loyal to you, but at the same time very flexible. I feel safe with him, and for me, it’s just me and my friend on the screen. But it is difficult. I don’t know how to make new friends now. It’s… it’s hard to trust people.
CO: Alek, I’m wondering what kind of relationships you have in your work while you’re filming. Do you feel like a friend, or is it more about blending into the background and staying aloof?
AK: No, I would say that I am very friendly. I will be more than a friend; I’m like a big brother. I take great care of my subjects with great love. A lot of documentary film, the kind of work I do, is about loving the subject you’re filming. And as for Selena, I fell in love with her on some level in 2015 when I met her. He’s so vulnerable and honest, he doesn’t know anything about it. But I trusted him over time. Sometimes, I film alone because I know no one else likes it.
CO: Selena, I was surprised when you let someone into your bedroom while you were still lying down. I would really hide under the covers then.
SG: [Laughs] Sometimes I’m like, “Oh, here we go.”
AK: He’s like in places like this, he looks at me and he’s like, “What am I doing?” And I continued, “It’s a bigger project.” Sometimes we talk to each other. I mean, it was hard for both of us, but I think that was the glue that kept us motivated.
CO: Selena, when you entered your old high school, I was surprised by that feeling when you open the door, but you are not greeted by these faces, you are greeted by many people are off their phones. And by contrast, I was surprised how little I saw of you on your phone in the documentary. What kind of relationship do you have with your phone and technology right now?
SG: You know, because you said, I want to know my screen time, for the last day… [Pulls out phone]. Yes. Only two hours today.
CO: That’s not bad! I think that’s good.
SG: Yes. I’m terrible at texting and everything, but luckily, I trust my friends enough to know that it’s not personal. I really like to separate myself from my phone, I find that I want to use my phone when I need to, like to make a phone call because I miss a friend or my or sister. I spend 30 minutes, if that, on TikTok. It’s definitely not the sun, and I think that’s healthy for me. I know it’s hard for a lot of people to do it, but luckily I’ve been able to do it and I’m happy. [Otherwise] makes me sad.
CO: It’s interesting because you have a big following on Instagram, but I see you on TikTok now. Do you like TikTok?
SG: You know, I know. I have… I have my issues [preferring] it. I’ve had a few moments where something bothered me [on TikTok], but very little. I know my algorithm sounds funny and creative with human recipes, and I recommend a lot of recipes. If anything [unpleasant] When it comes up, I just say “don’t care” and they do a great job, even for me, [of removing it], so I don’t bother. And I don’t look at the details, or at least I try not to. I find it a bit safer.
CO: People with huge audiences like Selena can talk about most of their lives on social media now. Alek, what do you think of the demand for documentary format and talk, live streaming?
AK: In a documentary — if you want to do this, I don’t know if everyone exists — you allow someone else to interact with you and see you from their point of view . It’s very difficult to expose yourself in a documentary, but it gives you a chance to collaborate and maybe see things that you were blinded to. As they say in a documentary, the best thing is that the subject and the filmmaker change from the experience.
CO: It’s interesting. How did you change?
AK: I have changed a lot about important things in my life. Selena has inspired me to really try to make a difference in the world and try to bring awareness to the world. I think I have become more gentle and kind.
CO: It’s definitely a legacy from a project. Selena, you once said “you’re starting to feel lonely and isolated in LA” One of the worst symptoms of depression I’ve ever seen is paralyzing worry about how others see you but it is still not good enough to maintain. of you I’m wondering how you feel about that, as I’ve seen you often confess and open yourself up in hair and makeup.
SG: Oh. Just learning from everything I’ve been through, I’m proud to say that I can look at myself in the mirror and feel good. It’s not that I wake up and I’m like, “Oh, my God, I’m amazing and I’m beautiful,” but taking care of my skin makes me feel good, makes me beautiful, and takes care of my mind. it’s the same. When you start to have a good relationship with yourself, it really helps you put perspective into my work. So the vanity part has kind of faded away because everything I do now is kind of giving back, and I have my Rare Impact Fund that I’m really passionate about. But you’re absolutely right about all the nonsense in music in L.A. It’s hard.
CO: What’s a good day for you right now?
SG: Oh, oh, no intrusive thoughts. [But] I love what I think. I like to dream. I think that’s part of the creation and part of my job. And I like that.
CO: Alek, when you’re filming, do you find some days more difficult than others? Those days in London, where Selena was working in the press, were much more difficult when you were filming in Africa and focused on her charity work.
AK: There was no difficulty in the film because by then we were very comfortable in each other’s presence. I think he almost appreciated being a witness to the problems of the time. One is like, “It’s not my idea, right?” I also really wanted London and Paris to show his perspective why [being famous] is similar. Because I think most people think “Oh, fame and celebrity, it’s all wonderful” or this medicine cures everything. But some difficulties may arise. So it wasn’t difficult to film, but it was a difficult day to do. I had to constantly adjust which cameras I was using based on his personality, because I knew for sure that some days he might not be interested in bigger cameras. [Laughs].
SG: [Laughs] Yes.
CO: Selena, is it cool to see all of this? Is the journey and progress set?
SG: It’s not a guarantee… It’s like I’m giving up, like giving up. I feel like I’m holding it all in, it’s so vulnerable, I just want to let it go. I don’t know why. It was like a happy accident I knew this would be more than me.
CO: In the documentary, you said that being a campaigner is your “best thing in the world,” and we can see that you’re going through some of the worst or most stupid questions. How do you feel about the promotion process at the moment?
SG: You know, it’s great. Maybe I should make this clear, so I’ll tell you: I like to talk about things I’m passionate about. I think I get more anxious when people ask me random, random questions. And I was sad [laughs]. If I’m promoting a movie, I’d love to talk to you about the process of the look and the relationship I have with my co-star and the difficult times on set. I could talk about it forever. If I’m promoting music, [I’ll talk about] The messages should be as ambiguous or as honest and open as I want. It’s more about those random questions, and I’m sure there are people out there who know what I’m talking about. [Laughs] It’s a love-hate relationship.
Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me It’s available on Apple TV on November 4
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.