HomeEntertainment & MusicMovie“Now Is the Time”: Inside Selena Gomez’s Most Private Challenge But

“Now Is the Time”: Inside Selena Gomez’s Most Private Challenge But


When Selena Gomez started filming her abruptly halted 2016 tour, she had no concept the ensuing movie would change into her most confessional undertaking up to now: “The documentary took on a lifetime of its personal,” she tells Vainness Truthful by way of e mail. Over the course of six years, what started as footage of her Revival tour morphed into Selena Gomez: My Thoughts & Me, an unflinching take a look at the pop star’s psychological well being journey that debuts on Apple TV+ November 4. “It was by no means this thought-out plan pondering we have been going to seize these very private elements of my life,” Gomez says. “It simply developed from there.”

The documentary’s origins will be traced again to the sultry 2015 music video for Gomez’s “Arms to Myself.” She was launched to director Alek Keshishian, greatest identified for his groundbreaking 1991 Madonna documentary, by means of his sister Aleen, Gomez’s supervisor since 2014. “I had seen Fact or Dare and thought it was one of the sensible music documentaries that’s ever been shot,” Gomez tells VF. “I watched it seven instances. It’s an precise murals. This isn’t simply, ‘Right here I’m on tour and I’m going by means of issues.’ It was a glimpse into somebody’s life, and it had respect and love and empathy, and nothing was sugarcoated.” She continues, “I knew if I have been ever to make a doc, I wished Alek to direct it.”

The one snag? Keshishian had lengthy sworn off motion pictures about musicians. “I’d mentioned no to all music docs,” he tells me in his first interview concerning the undertaking. “I used to be like, I don’t need to repeat myself.” Nonetheless, the filmmaker couldn’t assist however be charmed by Gomez. “I sort of fell in love with how genuine and susceptible and actual she was. I used to be anticipating a really manufactured particular person, and I didn’t get that,” Keshishian continues.

“[Madonna] was one of many high three most well-known individuals on this planet as a result of there wasn’t a constellation of stars. There was Diana [Ross], Michael Jackson, Madonna,” he explains. “By the point Selena got here to me, it was a really totally different universe. So what was revolutionary throughout Madonna’s time—satirically I feel it’s stopped being revolutionary now. I didn’t must see extra stars attempting to outrage the general public. For me, I acquired that sufficient on social media.”

“However what was fascinating to me was, there was this woman who in some way hadn’t placed on that armor of the general public facade. This younger lady has no guile. She shouldn’t be somebody who’s savvy about how she ought to current herself. It doesn’t give her any pleasure and it’s not in her DNA. So in that respect, for the time we’re residing in, I used to be like, This can be a one-of-a-kind subject material.”

Keshishian did have one situation: “You must give me entry to the whole lot,” he instructed the then 24-year-old. “And he or she did.”

Two weeks into filming Gomez’s turbulent Revival tour, which might be scrapped after 55 performances amid her struggles with anxiousness and melancholy, cameras went darkish. “Issues have been beginning to go off the rails a bit bit together with her personally. You see it within the film,” he tells me. “And it didn’t really feel just like the timing was proper. It felt intrusive and, I don’t know, it simply didn’t really feel proper to me as a human being.”

The pair stayed in contact through the years as Gomez underwent a kidney transplant as a consequence of her ongoing battle with lupus (she introduced her prognosis in 2015) and sought remedy after receiving a bipolar prognosis. She would formally reignite the documentary course of by inviting Keshishian and his crew to movie her 2019 advocacy journey to Africa. “He’s very type and nurturing, and I’ve full belief in him,” Gomez says. “More often than not, I forgot he was even round. Generally he was simply utilizing an iPhone hiding within the nook.”

The intimacy and belief Keshishian builds with Gomez—who shares her “darkest secrets and techniques” by way of journal entries and bed room confessionals—was hard-earned. “See, with Madonna, in 4 days, we have been like greatest pals,” he says. “Selena, we had a connection, however I used to be a lot older than she was, and she or he appeared as much as me as a filmmaker. I couldn’t have had the connection I had with Selena to start with that I had together with her when she had her lupus relapse [in 2020] and requested me to maintain taking pictures. That was earned over time.” He’d additionally set up belief inside Gomez’s inside circle, securing interviews together with her mom, Mandy Teefey, and greatest good friend, Raquelle Stevens. “So after I say it was a six-year labor of affection, it wanted six years to ripen on the vine.”

And Gomez gave that belief in full. “She by no means wished to return into the edit room,” Keshishian says. “She by no means micromanaged a single factor about this movie.” When he confirmed her a two-and-a-half-hour unique reduce of the movie, they each agreed it wouldn’t be the ultimate model. “She mentioned to the individuals financing the film and Apple, ‘I need to give Alek extra time,’ which was large. So she supported me as an artist,” he provides. About 9 months later, Gomez watched the near-final edit. Her response? “It’s what must be mentioned.”


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