Mikey Arana, Justin Bieber’s director of security, works hard to stay “out of sight” when he’s on the road with his famous client. But in the new documentary, Bodyguards: Secret Lives from the Watchtower, Arana and others who work behind the scenes divulge the chaotic, often dangerous scenarios they’ve witnessed with Bieber’s fans over the last three years.
“As fans have grown, they’re more likely to engage [Bieber] in a conversation than to grab him and literally rip him apart,” Arana says in the clip. “I remember when I first started with him – it may sound crazy, but three, four [emotional] little girls – they have so much strength that they would literally rip his shirt, take off his hoodie. And if it’s a big crowd, you could lose him in the crowd … But as the fans have grown with him, so has their approach to be able to just come up to him and go, ‘Hey Justin, how are you?’ and engage in conversation.”
Bieber concurs with the maturity theory, noting that most fans “start understanding how to act” as they get older. “They actually want to act a little bit more sane so that maybe they get my attention,” he says. “Because at this point, if you’re screaming and super overwhelming, it’s hard for me to connect with you.”
Bieber’s manager, Scooter Braun, recalls why he decided to increase the singer’s security detail in more recent years. “I think we started realizing we needed security when thousands of people started showing up at radio stations,” he says. “Then we went to Australia, and we told the Australians at this Sunrise TV show that we were going to need more security, and they didn’t believe us, and then the kids rioted the streets.”
Bodyguards: Secret Lives from the Watchtower explores the danger, excitement and selflessness implicit in the bodyguard profession. In addition to Bieber’s team, the doc follows the security of 50 Cent, Nelson Mandela and Whitey Bulger, among others. The documentary, directed by Jaren Hayman, will arrive in theaters and on-demand December 2nd.