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Trying to engage her in other current events, I come up empty-handed. When she tells me that at Thanksgiving with the Cyrus clan her brothers “literally got in a fight over, like, aliens,” I ask, “Immigration?”

“Yes. So he’s just—”

“Where did the family land on that?” I ask.

“Well, my older brother is obsessed with all those documentaries that have been banned. My brother’s convinced it’s the government not wanting us to know about aliens because the world would just, like, freak out—”

“Oh,” I say, realizing there’s been a misunderstanding. “Literal aliens.”

“—and so my younger brother is like, ‘That’s completely bogus.’ ”

“Tell your brother I worked for the government and saw no aliens.”

“I’m not so sure,” she says, telling me she once saw suspicious lights in the sky in the Bahamas. “My dad told me it was a satellite. But the way it zipped off was really weird.”

“I think it was a satellite,” I offer.

—  Ronan Farrow attempting to engage Miley Cyrus for W Magazine