Lonely Island: ‘Popstar’ Isn’t Justin Bieber Spoof

Truth rating: 10
Loney Island Justin Bieber Popstar

By Andrew Shuster

Loney Island Justin Bieber Popstar

(Getty Images/Universal Pictures)

The Lonely Island trio Andy Samberg, Jorma Taccone and Akiva Schaffer insist their upcoming music mockumentary, Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping, isn’t simply a spoof of Justin Beiber.

In the film, Samberg stars as (the fictional) Conner4Real, one of the top musicians in the industry, who also happens to lack all modesty and self-awareness. The movie’s title is even a play on Bieber’s 2011 concert documentary, Never Say Never. The Lonely Island was interviewed about the project for a recent New York Times piece, but clarified on Friday after it ran with the headline, “Justin Bieber, They’re Coming for You.”

Along with a screenshot of the article, the official Lonely Island Twitter account photoshopped “NOT REALLY” in giant red letters over the headline’s assertion they’re “coming for” Bieber. “For the record: We love @justinbieber,” the former “Saturday Night Live” star and his co-writers tweeted. “We made 2 shorts with him at ‘SNL’ and had a good time doing it. His new album is [fire].” They further explained, “Like our music, our movie isn’t a spoof of any one person but rather pop culture at large. We hope he loves the movie cause we [heart] him.”

In that New York Times interview, Samberg admits that pop stars like Bieber are easy targets because “they’re super catered to, they’re super rich, and they travel the world having a wonderful life making art.” But the actor-comedian also understands the difficulties faced by celebrities who grow up in the public eye, acknowledging that Bieber and others are “judged super-harshly for making teenager kind of mistakes and are expected to behave the way a mature adult would because they’re afforded the things that a successful, mature adult gets.”

Popstar is full of celebrity cameos, but Taccone went on to reveal that Bieber turned down an offer to appear in the movie. “In his defense, he was probably just busy,” the comedian said. “We’ve worked with him twice before. He was in the 100th Digital Short for us. We have a very nice relationship with him.” Popstar: Never Stop Never Stopping hits theaters June 3.

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