Watch A Young Britney Spears Handle All These Disastrous Interviews Like A Boss
Oh baby, baby. It’s hard to believe that Britney Spears was barely 17 when …Baby One More Time debuted at number one and became the fastest-selling album ever recorded by a teenage solo artist. The LP skyrocketed Spears to super-stardom and, as a result, made her a tabloid favorite. All of a sudden, she was swarmed by rumors about her virginity, love life and a lot of other stuff that had nothing to do with her music.
This, of course, led to a series of awkward television sit-downs, often with older men. But no matter how uncomfortable or inappropriate the interviews got, Spears handled them like a total professional from the start. She was not a girl anymore (but not yet a woman) back then. But she was already Britney, bitch.
Watch her prove it in the old clips below.
Eddy Zoey (1999)
This interview with Eddy Zoey from the Netherlands may take the cake for ultimate creepiness. He sat a little too close for comfort, grabbed Britney’s feet and ankles when she said she didn’t like her toes and asked if she had done any “kissing tricks with boys.” Britney remained patient throughout the interview, giving a polite chuckle as he ended the chat with a kiss on her hand.
The Howie Mandel Show (1999)
If the image of Howie Mandel with hair doesn’t scare you away, his weird fixation on Britney’s (probably unintentional) name drop of her entertainment lawyer will do the trick. Mandel milks the joke dry, interrupting Britney repeatedly in search of laughs. This was the day before …Baby One More Time hit stores, and even though Britney was a brand new pop star, she was unfazed by the host’s antics.
Oops, they did it again. Another leering Dutchman. (Things really go downhill at the 6:29 mark.) “There’s one subject we didn’t discuss. What was that? Your breasts. You seem to get furious when a talk show host comes up with this subject.” Well, good thing you’re bringing it up again, dude. Despite the statement, Britney didn’t lose her cool. Or, at least, she didn’t show it.
Live & Kicking (1999)
Two puppet Leprechauns were hitting on her. Hard. What more must be said?
Late Night with Conan O’Brien (2000)
Conan walked a fine line between funny and uncomfortable in this interview, which was right before the release of Oops…I Did It Again. The side comments from Andy Richter really helped the conversation cross over to the awkward side, as the three ironically discussed how creepy Britney’s fans can get (some stole dirt from her mother’s yard) and then promptly transitioned into talking about her bare midriff. But Britney held her own. She just smiled and laughed, charming her way through the conversation.
MTV Select (1999)
Interviewer Donna Air is kind of a wacky mess in this one. She confused who Britney toured with twice, slurred her words and even asked questions Brit already answered. And while some might’ve gotten annoyed with Air’s seemingly unprepared interview style, Britney appeared to be entertained and sweetly answered the rapid-fire questions.
The Rosie O’Donnell Show (1999)
Britney appeared several times on Rosie’s show while it was on the air. The two seemed to have a good relationship, despite the host’s sometimes overwhelming personality. Here, O’Donnell faux scolds Britney for her performance at the 1999 Nickelodeon Kids Choice Awards, where she performed in a white t-shirt and got, um, visibly cold. In response, Britney thanked O’Donnell for giving her a platform to talk about the situation.
Japanese Talk Show (1999)
Ok so – there’s a lot of weird stuff going on here. One guy repeatedly smacked the other on the head, the camera kept zooming in on what appeared to be Britney’s very frustrated bodyguard and Britney did her best to follow along with everyone else. All in all, a pretty successful interview given the circumstances.
TV Total (1999)
Germany’s Stefan Raab really let his freak flag fly in this clip (skip to 2:38). He told Britney he was nervous, then proceeded to creepily stare at her and sing a song with terrible one-liners dubbed in, like “The way you dance brings me joy, but you never fucked a boy” and “I love you so much baby and your silicon tits.” Clearly Britney’s handlers have stepped up their booking game since those Y2K days.