Why Justin Bieber’s ‘Dirty ‘Stache’ Is The Real Star of ‘Believe’

Director Jon Chu tells MTV News that while he was initially skeptical of the pop star's patchy facial hair, it ultimately became a key 'symbol' in the doc.

Justin Bieber may not hold a candle to Ron Burgundy in the facial fur department, but the Biebs’ little-mustache-that-could plays an equally large part in his big-screen sequel.

“Justin Bieber’s Believe” chronicles the recording process, release and subsequent tour in support of his latest album, Believe. Directed by Jon Chu, the documentary serves as a follow-up to the duo’s 2011 release, “Justin Bieber: Never Say Never,” this time documenting the singer’s everyday struggle to grow, mature and make new music in the public eye.

But it’s Bieber’s crumb catcher that steals the show in the film’s opening, when the 19-year-old is urged by his makeup artist to shave it off for his on-camera interview. Bieber refuses, waxing poetic about how all young men go through a “delusional” phase in which they truly believe that they look good with a mustache. It’s his way of showing the world, “I’m grown up.”

“When he said, ‘No, I’m not gonna [shave],’ I was like, ‘This is exactly what a young man would do,’” Chu tells MTV News. “I knew we were gonna do close-ups on this interview and you’re gonna see this ‘stache, not just this ‘stache, a dirty ‘stache, basically.

“He thought it was hilarious,” Chu recalls. “He’s always is playing a joke, so in his mind, he’s like, ‘Oh I’m gonna mess with Jon and keep the ‘stache.’ But it actually worked out OK.”

Looking back, Chu calls Bieber’s pitiful lip foliage a “symbol of how [Bieber] saw himself and what he was going through all this whole year.” More than that, the scrawny ‘stache embodies the spirit of the film — but not in the way you might think.

“It said everything about our movie that we didn’t have to say out loud,” Chu explains of choosing the ‘stache (aka #stache) as the focal point of the first “Believe” trailer. “It said, ‘He can grow a ‘stache now, he will, and even if you ask him not to, he will continue to grow it. He is still that rebellious troublemaker, he’s still charming as hell.”

Bieber and his nose neighbor hit the big screen on Christmas Day.