If you’ve happened to scroll through Miley Cyrus‘s Instagram as of late, you may have noticed that the 26-year-old singer is finally back to being Miley. That much is also clear in the cover story of Elle‘s August issue, where she touches on everything from her recent role in Black Mirror, as fan favorite Ashley O, to her marriage to—gasp!—a man.
That man, of course, is Liam Hemsworth, whom Cyrus first met when they costarred in the film The Last Song in 2009. They married in a private, press-free ceremony this past Christmas Eve, and recently celebrated their 10th anniversary, amidst rumors that they had split. From the sound of it, to Cyrus, those rumors came as no surprise: “I think it’s very confusing to people that I’m married. But my relationship is unique. And I don’t know that I would ever publicly allow people in there because it’s so complex, and modern, and new that I don’t think we’re in a place where people would get it,” she said. “I mean, do people really think that I’m at home in a fucking apron cooking dinner?”
But the main source of confusion isn’t their domestic life; it’s that Cyrus has become increasingly outspoken about the fact that she identifies as queer. To many, then, her longtime relationship with and marriage to a man has seemed like a contradiction. “I’m in a hetero relationship, but I still am very sexually attracted to women,” Cyrus explained once again. This time, she took a page out of Kristen Stewart’s book, which is to say offered her own take on the actress’s explanation of her attitude towards dating and sexuality via an analogy to grilled cheese. “People become vegetarian for health reasons, but bacon is still fucking good, and I know that,” Cyrus said. “I made a partner decision. This is the person I feel has my back the most. I definitely don’t fit into a stereotypical wife role. I don’t even like that word.”
As this point, when it comes to her lifestyle, Cyrus has long come to expect the public to be a bit slow on the uptake—hence why she feels such affinity for her Black Mirror character Ashley O, who’s now, somewhat tellingly, developed a cult following of her very own. “The character is me. They twisted it up the way they always do, but the industry is already pretty dark. And at times, I’ve definitely felt like Ashley O. I still do. Making this record, I felt like Ashley O at times,” she said. The parallels, she continued, made her determined to accept the role from the moment the show’s co-creator and co-showrunner, Charlie Brooker, approached her with the script. “I read it and was like, ‘It’s not even if I’m interested or not. It’s just that no one else can play this because this is my life. Like, you just took my life.'”
As for when Cyrus eventually managed to break away from her Disney persona of Hannah Montana, one moment in particular stands out: “I did once I was 18 because it felt ridiculous. The minute I had sex, I was kind of like, I can’t put the fucking wig on again,” she said. “It got weird. It just felt like … I was grown up. ” She turned to one last comparison, this time sans bacon: “One time I went backstage at Disneyland, and Peter Pan was smoking a cigarette. And I was like, ‘That’s me. That’s the kind of dreams I’m crushing.’ That’s how everyone felt with the bong video, but I’m not a Disney mascot. I’m a person. ”