On The Record: P!NK - Beautiful Trauma (2017) Script

Making an album is, you know...

[clock ticking]

[Pink] It's so many moving pieces. A lot of parts.

[bass drum sounding]

[Pink] The studio sessions, and you write the songs, and then...

-I'll say what I want. -[man] I know you will.

[Pink] You have to finish the songs, and somebody's in New York, and somebody's in Philadelphia and maybe there's a choir in Philadelphia and then...

[Pink] And then it's photo shoots.

The f*** are you looking at?

[Pink] It's video shoots.

Welcome to this first video shoot.

F****** deal with that.

[Pink] And you're in dance rehearsals and then you're maybe on a festival tour at the same time over here, and you're getting ready for your regular tour.

So, it's rehearsals, and it's putting on shows, and then your six-year-old has surf camp, your eight-year-old has a vaccination, and then your album's out.

[man] Eight-year-old.

-I said eight-year-old? -[man] Yeah.

Oh, s***.

-[man] So, "Beautiful Trauma." -[Pink] Let's do this.

[Pink] Do you have a wine opener?

Well, I came off the road in 2013 and I moved away from civilization because I was peopled out.

I found a preschool for my daughter and I was just kind of writing and writing and writing and doing some other stuff, and then I made a human.

And then it was time. It was time.

Oh, God.

Come up a little bit.

[Pink] For a while I didn't have anything to say except dumb, sad stuff.

But then I started finding my voice again.

Make me sound better than I am

[sound engineer] I'm gonna turn it down, just so I don't blast you, -and then you can turn it up. -[Pink] I'm deaf. You won't.

[Pink] So then I just started really going for it.

I need more.

Working with new people, Johnny being one of them.

Double it.

Busbee, Julia.

Billy, Jack Antonoff, Greg Kurstin...

Just started going for it and it started steamrolling.

[drum roll]

Let's giddyap. Let's do this.

Let's do some verses.

Every time I start a record, I'm like, I don't know if I can sing anymore.

I don't know if I have anything to say.

I don't know if I can do this anymore.

I probably suck at this now.

And then, 25 songs later, everyone's like, "Okay, can you wrap it up?"

And I'm like, "Oh, I got a lot to say.

That's gonna make people angry."

[drum roll]

[drums beating]

All right.

[piano playing]


[drum beat]

[sound engineer] That's good.

-Good with you? -No.

[sound engineer] Okay.

Was there another one?

That was the one!

[drum roll]

Sometimes I nail it.

I nailed it.

[Pink] I guess, in some ways, each record I meet at least one new threshold for myself, and I think this time it was...

I think vocally, I've never been in a better place.

On a couple of these records, I nailed it.

[pop rock playing]

[electronic music playing]

[piano playing]

[audience cheering]

Jack Antonoff is awesome.

He is one of the most lovable humans in the world.

The first song we did was "Beautiful Trauma."

And she came up with that line as a way to describe a long-term relationship, which I loved.

Right away, you rush to your computer and find out if anyone did it already because it seems too good to be true.

And it's 5:30. Just FYI.

Oh, my God.

[Pink] The day I get an actual night's sleep, like through the night and then just sleep until my body decides to wake up, I'm gonna be so confused.

[Pink] This.

Forty-five sixteen is one of my favorites.

Hi, buddy.

It's fun to be awake and then you come out and everybody's, "Hi, you."

You smell like a poopy.

My poo poo.

What sparkly skirt?

I'm gonna produce it for you in two seconds flat.

Would you let the woman get out of the f****** bed now.

That was really delightful.

-Step back. -I'm sorry.

So, this is lovely, I love that, but also look at this.

Because you can also go in the water if you want. It's a bit more...

I'm gonna get dressed now.

I don't see it as any sort of like, Clark Kent-Superman thing.

[Jack] Like, I don't think there's, like, P!nk and then Alecia.

[Busbee] It's just like a version of her persona is a punched-up version of her real life.

[Kim] Well, what do you think?

I think it's great. I'm in it.

I'm not getting out of it. That's what I think.

[Jack] She's not a mom and a wife and a friend and pretends that she's not.

If you're a fan of P!nk, then you've met parts of Alecia.

You meet her when you hear her on the radio.

[Johnny] You meet her when you see her do an interview.

But, like all humans, there is also so much more to her than meets the ear or the eye.

How to describe P!nk?

[Johnny] She's warm...

...and passionate.

[Jack] Fun to be around.

Well, she's like a real human being.

Incredibly intelligent person.

Driven and fierce.

That's such a trick question

'cause I can see the edit in my head of all the different words, and you know what the answer is?

She's all of it.

[drum roll]

Yeah. Trying to just get the voices to all agree.

[Kim] Come on, guys. Today?

You know what it is? I think I'm PMS-ing, you guys.

I will eat your face.

[Pink] I prefer for an album to be a mixed bag of emotions because that's true.

That's my truth. Those came from a real place.

It just so happens that I'm schizophrenic and I have 17 different personalities all happening at the same time.

I'm the goofiest person in the world.

I want to laugh. Really, I want to laugh.

Thanks, bud.

Probably gonna cry, but I really want to laugh.

[Pink] So those are songs like "Revenge."

[pop rock music]

[audience cheering]

"Revenge" was a night that involved a lot of red wine and laughter, [Pink] and I went home and I drank more wine.

We were joking that I wanted to win a rap Grammy and so I wrote a rap.

I have a longstanding love affair with Marshall Mathers.

It started in 2001 when I asked him for his autograph at the MTV Awards.

He's just, he's a genius and I wrote him this long email, and I was like, "Look, I love you. I've always loved you.

You know I've always loved you.

And you should totally be on my record again."

And he just wrote back, "Okay."

I was like, "Great." And then four days later, from Rio de Janeiro, the best thing I've ever heard in my life.

And then I emailed him again.

I was like, "Oh, my God, it's amazing. Thank you.

I love you. I want to tackle you and shove your face in the dirt and kiss you on the cheek and I can't wait to thank you in person."


"You're a horse, you're a horse. This is war."

That's what I told him. I'm like, "He loves horses.

He rides a lot of them in Detroit."

[audience cheering]

[Pink] I think that's what alchemy is.

Okay, so...

[drum beats]

That's not the right key.


[drum beats]

No, that one's all right. That one's like...

Yeah, but I mean it.

I need way more piano please.

There we go.

[piano playing]

Oh, is it on Sunday?

That's gonna be amazing

[audience cheering]

[piano playing]

Just one note.

Busbee was like, "We need one note, piano. One note."

[Pink] And I was like, "Okay, let's do that."

[Busbee] I just sat down at the piano and started playing some chords, and she started reading me--

She had a bound book of, you know, papers with all of these verses written, and in one of those verses she said the line, "Wild hearts can't be broken."

And I was like, "What's that?"

[Pink] Well, Busbee and I started writing that song for a movie called Suffragette.

The movie is about the Suffragette movement which is women's right to vote.

You have to fight for what's rightly yours, which is rights and respect and love and kindness and compassion and... and you have to be willing to die for it.

These women were.

[audience cheering]

[audience cheering]


Thank you, guys. Wow, that was...

I didn't think that was gonna happen.

[man] Yes. Thank you.

[intense music]

[Pink] I think vulnerability is important to me because it's so difficult, because it's so uncomfortable.

I think the human experience shouldn't be covered up.

I think it should be lived out loud.

[Johnny] Alecia is quite fearless.

It was inspiring to work with someone who would risk saying the things that she says the way she says them.

That's truly an artist.

[Pink] Welcome to my first video from my new album.

I'm P!nk.

Nailed it.

What does it mean when everybody's saying, "I love you, Mom"?

Why do people say that? What does that mean?

[man] 'Cause you're a mom.

It's like a gay thing. Gays, they have, like, their pop queens and they refer to them as, like, Mom.

-Well, thank you for... -[man] Enlightening you.

Enlightening me on what's going on with the kids these days.

All right, let's do this. "What About Us?"

[all cheering]

-[Georgia] There's the man. There he is. -[Pink] What man?

[Pink] Good? Everyone good?

Let's rock it!

[Pink] I think empathy...

is a human necessity.

[drum roll]

I allow myself and others around me.

I can hold space for flaws or faults or pain and true experiences.

I see in other people what's the truth that's happening and I want them to feel comfortable being that.

I want to be like, "Look, I'm doing it, too. I feel like an idiot.

I'm scared half the time."

It's hot as donkey b****.

Donkey b**** are hot I should have been asleep four hours ago

[Pink] You can write 55 mediocre songs that you like, and then there's that one day that you had no idea that was gonna happen.

And "What About Us?" was one of those days.

[intense music]

There's an inherent humanness about vulnerability.

We're all vulnerable.

[Johnny] We all work out how to hide it and defend ourselves against it, but if you're an artist then you go into that place where you're willing to walk into the fire of being vulnerable.

You put that on a record and put that out to the world, and I think people, their hearts automatically beat in time with it.

I mean, I think "What About Us?" took us maybe 15 minutes to write and 10 minutes to record.

Those are those kinds of songs where it just falls out of you.

That's why I think you're just a vessel

[Pink] when you're being creative.

Alecia really does point at a star and she goes for it.

[Johnny] It may be blurred and in the distance for a moment, but she still walks towards it.

As she does that, then the song is revealed.

Like, it comes to fruition in the room.

[pop rock music playing]

[piano playing]

[audience clapping and cheering]

Thank you.

[Pink] Honestly, I think it starts with sitting on the floor.

You have to get people from out behind their computers and you have to sit on the floor.

[Billy Mann] She can be really direct and simple, and it's not trite.

It's honorable and it's got integrity, and there are moments where she has come up with lyrics when I've been, like, "I don't think we can say that." And she's like, "Oh, we can say it."

[Pink] You can bring all of your luggage to the studio and then you just slowly start to unpack it.

She will run... and have an allergic reaction to something that's contrived.

[Pink] I don't have words I want to put in a song.

I don't have a preexisting notion.

I just think the more idiotic you can be and the more free, and the more unafraid, where there truly is no shame and no bad idea, I think that's when you'll stumble on something.

[drum beats]

You have to dare to suck, and I think where people get hung up a lot of the time is they think their idea is dumb and they don't say it.

But I say the worst stuff, I get that out of the way first.

So I've been working with Max and Johan for a long time.

I don't know. We can get pretty serious.

"Whatever You Want" was just basically, "What do you want to write about?


We have felt like our ship is going down so many times in a really, real way and sometimes we have crashed and we have split.

[Pink] But we always come back.

I think that true love is always coming back to the table, and "Whatever You Want" is sort of about that.

It's at the end of the day like, whatever you want.

[audience cheering]

Thank you. Thanks.

Thank you.

Kind of do a little bit of cuff action... I love it.

I'm a very unique-looking person, aren't I?

Strong, strong face.

[Kim Bowen] We need to pin it at the back, so could you help me with a bit of safety pinnage?

Interesting to be me. Trust me.

Here, baby.

[camera man] I try not to imagine, to be honest with you.


[Pink] All right. Hey, hi.

It's so funny to be doing this here because I've never done anything like this.

My dream was to get legally emancipated, drop out of school, and hitchhike across country to get discovered on Venice Beach.

That was my dream since I was eight years old.

[Pink] When I decided that all grown-ups were full of it and school was not a place for me, and my parents were fighting, and all of these things were going on, And everyone was pretending.

Everything's okay, pretending, and then you hear that voice of the person that's not pretending and they're there for you and you understand them and they speak your language, so that's what music is to me.

And then I got kicked out of my mom's house, dropped out of school, got a record deal, and...

[Billy] How old were you when you--

[Pink] Completed the dream. Sixteen.

Then I moved out here when I was 19.

Her fans count on her to give more depth

[Billy Mann] than they would get from an artist that doesn't have that deeper life, yet.

That isn't in a committed relationship, that doesn't deal with balancing work and motherhood.

Is that's what's happening? I'm gonna go get my kid from surf camp.

[Willow] Why are you going in my playroom?

[Pink] So cool, right, Wills?

I did that this morning when you went to camp.

[Willow] Where was that?

[Pink] At the bar down the street with the sawdust on the floor.

That's awesome.

She's such a magical little elf.

She doesn't want to put clothes on.

She wants to run around, climb trees, do handstands.

You can't keep her attention for longer than 13 seconds.

It's just, it's awesome.

It's such a reminder of how we start out, just free.

I cried her first day of preschool and she was gone.

She was like, "Later."

Like, "If you're worried, if you're worried, I'll be right here."

Hi, buddy.

It feels good.

Look, your sissy is up here, too. The whole fam-bam.

Bring me your butt

[Pink] I would like to put everything I am and everything I have into everything that I do.

I'd say the hardest part is just trying to figure it all out and balance it all.

You know, I signed up for this when I was 16 and now I have children

[Pink] and I have a marriage and I have, you know, I have stuff, and I just want to always make sure that I'm doing right by them.

I need everybody to be good.

So, it's not a simple puzzle anymore, it's not just me.

What do you think?

What do you think, Wills? You like all this fuss?

It's so sweet because they're so sweet.

They don't have all the stuff that we have.

Man, it'd be nice to go back there for a second, when the world was simpler.

[guitar music playing]

[guitar music playing]

I grew up a P!nk fan.

When I met P!nk, I was so nervous, because I was like, "Please don't be mean. Please be awesome.

Please be as awesome as I think you are."

I love Julia. She's so talented.

That song makes my heart hurt.

I mean, it's beautiful. The melody, the sentiment.

When we were writing "Barbie," we were talking about our pasts and how we grew up, and, you know, everything is so... high-tech, nowadays, And it wasn't when you were a kid.

I'm turning 38 in a couple of days and I still feel like a 17-year-old boy, or like an eight-year-old girl at times, and it's really hard for me to believe that I'm a grown-up and that I'm supposed to be responsible for my kids now.

And I am, I'm gone way too far responsible.

But I think we all feel like that when the pressures mounting up and we have these responsibilities and the weight of the world, it feels like, is on your shoulders and you just want to go back to playing in your room.

[audience cheering]

We caught a vibe. I remember being in the studio and we had like a kick drum that was just simple... you know.

[kick drum beats]

And I started playing the finger-picking thing on the acoustic guitar, and there was this really cool... over it.

And when we were doing it, there was a part in the song where the harmonies came in that felt very gospelly and she was immediately like, "We gotta go back to Philly and, you know, why don't we do this with a gospel choir?"

[Flynn] It's very sentimental for me to come back to Philadelphia as it's very sentimental for Alecia because we grew up very much disenfranchised kids growing up in the city.

There are optional paths for us, and some of those paths are really bad, and the good ones are sometimes harder to find.

But singing in church was one for me, and it was one for her.

And she's about as down-to-earth a superstar as you're ever gonna meet.

I thank you in advance, and now I'm gonna do something great, which is we're gonna take the spirit of what we are all about and we're gonna put it on tape, and that is going to reach hundreds of millions of people with somebody who has the integrity to go out and be themselves.

[upbeat music playing]


[Pink] How are you?

Hi, y'all.

Thank you so much. I can't wait to hear it.

This is Willow.

[All] Hi, Willow.

Hi. She's got perfect pitch. Just gonna put that out there.

[Pink] This is a dream come true for me.

I used to sing in a church in North Philly back in the day.

How do you feel? Do you feel like you want to sing anymore?

Absolutely. I like singing.

[Flynn] Lyrically, it's very much about her journey as a person.

[Pink] I think the most rewarding part... of all of this is... is the work.

[Pink] I've gotten to a place in my life where I'm kind of proud of myself because I'm a hard worker and I don't give up.

[Pink] I'm proud of the team that's around me.

It's my family and I feel like, like I've been traveling as a gypsy for so long and... now I'm home.

[upbeat music playing]

Oh, no.

-Oh, no. -What's wrong?

They're still awake waiting for me.

-Oh, you're going home? -No. "Put them to bed.

They need sleep."

[man] If you go now, you'll be home in 20 minutes, right?

Okay. Willow's gonna wait up for me.

[man] You know what we're doing, right?

[woman clapping]

[choir singing]

[piano playing]

[music fades]