EXCLUSIVE: Jacob Tremblay tells us what it was like starring in Justin Bieber's 'Lonely' music video

Bieber reveals he teared up the first time he watched Jacob play him.
Published October 16, 2020 1:46 a.m. EST
Last Updated October 20, 2020 12:54 p.m. EST
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Jacob Tremblay is undoubtedly one of Hollywood's most sought-after young stars. The Canadian actor has appeared in an Oscar-nominated film (2015's Room), box office hits (like Good Boys), and he's even voicing Flounder in the upcoming live-action Little Mermaid. But most recently, he's added another once in a lifetime role to his resume — playing Justin Bieber in a Justin Bieber music video — and he exclusively chatted with etalk all about it."It definitely feels really weird to say it, because it just sounds like it shouldn't be happening but, I am in a Justin Bieber music video, which is something I would have never seen coming," Jacob told etalk's Liz Trinnear, when they chatted over video call (watch above) just hours before the music video for "Lonely" premiered.After JB's team reached out with the opportunity ("which of course I said yes to"), Bieber hit up Jacob himself to break the ice, since the pair had never met. "I ended up getting a text message from Justin Bieber asking if I had any questions, which I did — I had a lot of questions. So we kind of organized that we would call each other some time, but we didn't really get an exact time, so he ended up calling me when I was in the grocery store... I was like, to my parents, 'I have to go outside because Justin Bieber's calling me.'"While Jacob wants to keep the details of that conversation between him and the Biebs, he does tell Liz that the singer "was super nice," especially after he revealed how nervous he was to be collaborating with one of the biggest recording artists on the planet. But why was Jacob, who's co-starred in multi-million dollar Hollywood productions alongside Oscar-winners like Julia Roberts, Brie Larson, and Natalie Portman nervous to shoot a music video? "I had actually never played a real person before," Jacob explained. "I've always played made-up characters, so I just really wanted to make sure that I had the feelings of the song and how Justin wanted me to feel. I really got to understand — it's a bit more of a serious song but I'm really excited for people to hear it, so they can see the story. It's really good." During a YouTube livestream Thursday night, Justin and the song's producer, Benny Blanco (who previously collaborated on 2015's "Love Yourself") called Jacob one of the best child actors they've ever seen. "The first time I watched him go through the segment... I legitimately lost it," Justin said of witnessing Jacob on set. "I was tearing up, like completely." But it wasn't all serious vibes while shooting "Lonely." Jacob says he got a selfie with Hailey Bieber (much to the envy of his older sister) and won a ping-pong match against Benny Blanco.[video_embed id='2055566']WATCH: Justin Bieber crashes Crocs website with new shoe[/video_embed]Bieber first teased "Lonely" earlier this week, posting an image from the video of Jacob playing a younger version of himself, dressed in the iconic purple hoodie, and white denim jeans and jacket, from the "Never Say Never" era. Jacob posted the same image, but stayed tight-lipped about his involvement till chatting with us. "I was playing Justin Bieber, while Justin Bieber was watching me the whole time. That's one of the reasons I was really really nervous."RELATED: Rock bike shorts like Hailey BieberThe raw and emotional track takes an honest look at the early years of the pop star's career and his well documented public struggles, with lyrics like: "What if you had it all but nobody to call? Maybe then you'd know me.'Cause I've had everything, but no one's listening and that's just f****** lonely." Also referencing his lowest lows on the song's second verse: "Everybody knows my past now. Like my house was always made of glass. And maybe that's the price you pay for the money and fame at an early age. And everybody saw me sick and it felt like no one gave a s***. They criticized the things I did, as an idiot kid."The music video largely focuses on Tremblay's younger version of Bieber until it's revealed Justin is sitting in the auditorium watching his younger self on stage, reflecting back on his own past. When Liz asks Jacob about having so much attention on him as the star of a music video from a global superstar, he says, "I'm quite nervous about that. I definitely want to make a good impression on all the Beliebers out there. I hope that I get the approval of them."[video_embed id='2049925']BEFORE YOU GO: 'Horse girl' gallops and jumps like a horse[/video_embed]