Perhaps reality TV isn’t the right venue for teachable moments that could be easily misconstrued by Savage haters. Like the time 9-year-old DJ, who thought girls were icky, jumped to the conclusion that he must be gay, until Miller showed him a photo of himself, surrounded by girls, on his 10th birthday. “If you liked girls right now,” he said, “that would probably mean you’re gay.”
On the way to the premiere’s after-party at Planet Hollywood in Times Square, DJ emphatically denies he’ll ever come around to liking musicals—even after Savage (who adored them at his age) points out that Green Day has one now. In the glass-walled bar above the movie-kitsch emporium, actors and New Group bigwigs dote on the family. The kid cracks as many smiles as he likely ever has at an evening out with his embarrassing parents. Smiling praise has a way of dragging even shy preteens out of their studied ennui.
“If he hadn’t wanted to be here, we’d be out like a shot,” says Savage. “He’d get sullen, he wouldn’t say a word. If he’d said no, we wouldn’t have come.”
Then it happens. The actors playing Dan and Terry pose with their real doppelgängers before a huddle of photographers—at least one of them a professional. Someone invites DJ into the shot, and he shuffles over. What happened to the fatwa on Googleable images? “It went out the window,” says Savage, resigned but blasé. “You don’t want to be impolite.”