Held at an intimate members-only club in New York, after posing for a few solo photos on the hot pink carpet he beckoned for “my love” – fiancée Megan Fox – to come join him. Soon enough, his entire familial band was embracing for a photo opp-turned-group-hug.
While speaking with Billboard, the artist born Colson Baker, now 32, said he’s kept the cameras rolling on his life since he was around 11 years old, “back when you had to put big fat VHS tapes in the camera and record it.” He’s already considering another doc, calling this “part one” and teasing, “This was a look at Machine Gun Kelly already being Machine Gun Kelly… we don’t know about what made him become Machine Gun Kelly. That rabbit hole goes way deeper.”
As such, he says this first documentary, which has a runtime of 80 minutes, only scratches the surface: “This was a period piece about the last two years of me balancing a new level of fame with a new relationship that I finally was wanting to take seriously and fatherhood, which is the ultimate task.”
He says watching his wise-beyond-her-years 12-year-old daughter Cassie speak so honestly was “hard,” noting it was probably the first time the doc made him tear up while watching it back. Throughout the film, Cassie openly lays out her own struggles with having a famous – often on-the-road and working late – father, to which MGK responds, “I didn’t want to silence her truths at all, and I’m so proud of the way that she is able to speak and to be open. She’s the catalyst for everything good that I’m becoming.”
And as most know, so is Fox. There’s one clip in particular that drew the most headlines on release day — MGK admittedly hadn’t seen any news posts of the film’s release – and it’s a clip he didn’t even want to be included. At one point in the doc, he recalls to the camera calling Fox in July 2020, around the time his father died, while she was filming overseas in Bulgaria. He remembers being unable to leave his room, noting it got “really, really, really dark” while experiencing high levels of paranoia. He was sleeping with a shotgun next to his bed and on this particular call with Fox, attempted to take his own life (the shell ultimately got jammed, he concludes).
“I didn’t want to include that part,” he confessed on the pink carpet. “Though the whole point of this is to be more raw and more vulnerable than an artist who is pushed by a machine, or something that just seems catered to making them look great. I think I’m an experiment of what it can be when an artist is just human.”
As director Sam Cahill, 24, adds, “We did various interviews months apart on different days, and it was almost like in between he was thinking about what he wanted to drop on me next. The fact that he was speaking that to our lenses, he had some level of comfortability… There was a lot of stuff that we cut out but the stuff that we put in I felt like the world needed to hear. How he deals with things and how it affects his life can definitely help others because he deals with so much shit: hate from the internet, hate all over the place, bad press all the time. This doc shows what happened behind the scenes and how it eats away at somebody’s soul.”
MGK says the most important thing for him to do as an artist is even as he grows to maintain the initial bond he formed with fans, which he fostered early on through episodic YouTube blogs, and hopes this doc will now continue. “I shied away from that [for a while] and this was kind of reigniting that: here is me behind the music. Getting rid of the noise and showing them me as a person I feel like is the key in a fan base knowing, ‘The human I related so much to is still that human I find myself relating to so much still.’”