Justin Bieber launched his video Wednesday for As Long As You Love Me, a dubstep summer single that is sure to bury itself in everyone’s temporal lobes for months to come. But the teen sensation is making a point to break out of his bubble-gum persona by ramping up the violence and adult themes in this debut.
The 18-year-old, who recently gave some Twitter love to Olympic gold medalist Missy Franklin, harnessed the power of his social network in order to make his video No. 1, setting out to break the record for most views in 24 hours, which fans set with his “Boyfriend” video, by urging his Twitter followers to make it No. 1.
The Biebs’ As Long As You Love Me, not to be confused with the Backstreet Boys’ single from 1997, is the second single from his Believe album and is about the trials and tribulations young lovers would go through to be together. In the five-plus-minute short film, a boy tries to take on his girlfriend’s tough dad to be with his lady love.
Sorry Selena Gomez fans, Bieber’s real-life girlfriend is nowhere to be seen. And to reinforce the idea that Bieber is trying to be a grown-up, there’s this line from Michael Madsen, who plays the father: “Listen, kid. My daughter is everything. She needs me as much as I need her. That means someday I have to let her go. And when I do, she needs to be with a man. Not a boy: That’s what you are.”
“I love her,” Bieber replies. And when Madsen gives him a few more stern words, he simply says, “You don’t know us,” in a very Edward Cullen-like pitch.
The couple then sets out to meet at a train station, but daddy dearest becomes privy to their late-night getaway and throws down. Let’s give it up for the throwback to rotary-dial and payphones as a way of communicating with his girlfriend.
The Biebs also does some HBO-friendly pawing in the film, takes a few mean punches from said dad and somewhere around the 5:42-minute mark spits up blood. (We’ll let those non-Beliebers live vicariously for a moment. It doesn’t help that Madsen was arrested last March after fighting with his teenage son.)
Bieber thanked Big Sean, who is featured in the video, and “big bros” Usher, will.i.am and Asher Roth for helping out with the shoot, which took place in early July in L.A., right around the time the pop phenom was pulled over and cited for driving like a crazy person.
Bieber, always a fan of the hashtag, has been promoting #AsLongAsYouLoveMe and #AsLongAsYouLoveMeVIDEO since then.