Why Selena Gomez couldn’t watch documentary My Mind and Me’s world premiere: ‘I think it would be too hard for me’
- The documentary Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me follows the singer and actress through six years of her life, and her struggles with lupus, mental health and fame
- Gomez explains why she wanted to let Alek Keshishian, who previously worked on warts-and-all Madonna tour documentary Truth or Dare, turn his lens on her life
After walking the Hollywood red carpet, Selena Gomez was the one guest who couldn’t watch the world premiere of her own documentary, Selena Gomez: My Mind and Me.
Gomez, 30, said she needed to step away once the deeply personal documentary started at the TCL Chinese Theatre to kick off the American Film Institute Film Festival.
“My Spanx hurt really bad, so I’m a little uncomfortable,” Gomez said after the 95-minute film ended, earning a laugh with her deadpan deprecation. “I’m also a little nervous. I didn’t watch (the movie) with you guys because I think it would be too hard for me.”
My Mind and Me, (streaming on AppleTV+) follows Gomez through six years of her career, and provides a revealing behind-the-scenes look at the young star’s challenges with her mental health, lupus and her all-encompassing fame.
Gomez said she wanted to have Alek Keshishian, who worked with Gomez on the music video for “Can’t Keep My Hands to Myself”, direct her documentary since seeing his 1991 Madonna concert tour documentary Truth or Dare. The original plan was to cover Gomez’s 2016 Revival tour, which was ultimately cancelled because of her physical and mental health crises.
“We soon realised that there was much more going on than just the tour that I eventually ended up cancelling,” says Gomez. “(Keshishian) came into my life in these moments that were beautiful, complicated and tragic. And I felt comfortable sharing what I was walking through.”
Keshishian called Gomez “so authentic and vulnerable”.
“Unlike most pop stars and most celebrities I know, she doesn’t have armour,” the Madonna confidant added of Gomez.
The film shows Gomez growing up in Grand Prairie, Texas, and revisiting her hometown after superstardom to see her old school and neighbours.
“I’m a Texas girl through and through, and I truly feel like the most beautiful woman when I’m home,” Gomez said. “When I go home, I visit the house I’m from every time and the neighbours. I don’t think they see me any differently than who I was when I was younger.”
In My Mind and Me there are frequent flashbacks and discussions about Gomez’s first role on Barney & Friends, a role that brought teasing at school.
“I got made fun of a lot for that,” Gomez said, “Don’t go to the fourth grade and say that you star in Barney & Friends.”
Gomez said the film gives real and raw on-screen disclosures that might prompt important discussions.
“I’m not gonna lie and say maybe there were a few moments that weren’t scary to offer,” she said. “So I kind of used myself as a sacrifice in order for people to have the hard conversations. But I’m also going to crawl into a hole for a few months after this. I gave too much.”
When asked what kind of advice she would give to her fans seeking superstardom, the global superstar demurred.
“I’d say, ‘Oh, God, don’t try that’!” said Gomez. “I don’t know who I am to give advice. I’m not saying I have the answers at all or even a powerful speech. I would just say that people have given me a responsibility that I carry so deeply.
“All I would ever want anyone to know is that they’re exactly enough the way they are. That they are worthy. They are seen. They deserve love.”