Miley Cyrus made her intentions known when it came to the concept for her "Party in the U.S.A." video: According to the director, her idea was all about "high-gloss, glamorous white trash." For the clip, Cyrus wanted to pay tribute to her parents' courting days as well as her favorite movie, "Grease."
"Miley did have an idea — one of her favorite movies is 'Grease,' " director Chris Applebaum told MTV News. "Everything kind of sprang forward from that scene in 'Grease' where John Travolta is singing ... and he gets out of the car and goes to jungle gym and sits in one of the swings and sings the song at night as projections go in the background — she came to me [with that]."
In addition to the "Grease" tribute, Miley wanted to remember another time before she was born — a time when her parents were still dating.
"Interesting enough, Miley's parents Tish and Billy Ray, when they were first dating they went to a drive-in in Kentucky, I think, called the Corral Drive-In — so we named the drive-in after that as an homage to them," Applebaum explained. "In addition, Miley's mom Tish used to drive '79 black Pontiac Trans Am, 'Smokey and the Bandit' style, and obviously that's the car that Miley arrives in."
Applebaum raved about Cyrus, insisting she isn't just a cookie-cutter pop star — she's the real deal. "I really like her a lot and I've worked with pretty much every female pop star. ... She's fun and she's personal and she's smart in a way that you'd want one of your best buddies to be," he explained. "She's more like a guy than a girl. She doesn't take herself too seriously. She's a real artist, she comes from that background. She's just a hard worker."
He notes that Cyrus is such a tomboy that if she were placed in a room with some of the biggest stars today, male and female, you'd see Cyrus hanging out with the boys. "Say there was a celebrity star-studded event and people at the party — Britney's there, Rihanna's there, Beyoncé's there, but also, like, Jay-Z is there and Kid Rock is there. I could easily see a scene where you walk into a room and you see Kid Rock and Jay-Z standing next to each other laughing hysterically, and as you get closer you realize they're standing around Miley, who is telling them stories and cracking jokes."