Miley Cyrus Details "Undeniable" Chemistry With Liam Hemsworth During The Last Song Auditions

Miley Cyrus recently reflected on the chemistry she and ex-husband Liam Hemsworth had while filming the 2010 film The Last Song.

By Hayley Santaflorentina Sep 01, 2023 8:31 PMTags
Watch: Miley Cyrus Reflects on Malibu Home With Liam Hemsworth

Before she was buying herself flowers, Liam Hemsworth was doing it for her. 

Miley Cyrus recently reflected on her experience filming the 2010 movie The Last Song—during which she and Liam fell in love both onscreen and off—and revealed why she thinks her and Liam's relationship in the movie worked so well.

"I think one of the elements that made that movie feel so special," she shared in a Sept. 1 TikTok, "was it was watching two very young people fall in love with each other, which was happening in real time and real life."

She continued, "So the chemistry was undeniable, and that was the beginning of a long, 10-year relationship."

And indeed, Miley and Liam did take their chemistry offscreen, dating shortly after filming began on the Nicholas Sparks book adaptation, before becoming engaged in 2012. The pair were on-again, off-again for many years until they married in December 2018, before the Hunger Games actor filed for divorce in August 2019. Their split was finalized in January 2020.  

Miley Cyrus & Liam Hemsworth: Romance Rewind

In her TikTok, which is part of a series of videos reflecting on her past in honor of her new single "Used To Be Young," the Hannah Montana alum also explained how The Last Song came to be—including how Liam ultimately landed the role. 

"In 2008, I had to do another feature film for Disney," she explained. "And I didn't want it to be a part of Hannah Montana. Once we had written the screenplay, it was time to audition all the guys who would play Will, my boyfriend in the movie."

"And we had gotten it down from thousands to the final three," she noted, "and Liam was a part of those three."

Kevin Winter via Getty Images

During their relationship, Miley and Liam lived together in Malibu, before the house tragically burned down in the California wildfires that tore through the state almost five years ago. 

In a separate video for her "Used To Be Young" series, the 30-year-old reflected on the significance of both that house and that part of her life

"The Meet Miley Cyrus record was really where I started writing my own songs as a solo artist," Miley said in an Aug. 29 TikTok. "And so I was working with a producer in Malibu that lived in a house in Ramirez Canyon, which I would've never known 15 years later I would be living in that house, which would eventually burn down."

She added, "That house had so much magic to it. It ended up really changing my life." 

What else has Miley said about her split with Liam? Read on to look back.

Remembering the Fireworks

Despite the split, Miley acknowledged the spark they felt while filming the 2010 movie The Last Song.

"I think one of the elements that made that movie feel so special," she shared on TikTok in September 2023, "was it was watching two very young people fall in love with each other, which was happening in real time and real life."

Miley added, "So the chemistry was undeniable, and that was the beginning of a long, 10-year relationship."

Knowing It Was Over

Miley revealed in September 2023 that she knew their marriage was over at the 2019 Glastonbury music festival.

She said in a TikTok video, "So Glastonbury was in June which was when the decision had been made that me and Liam's commitment to be married just really came from—a place of love first, because we've been together for 10 years—but also from a place of trauma and just trying to rebuild as quickly as we could."

Miley added, "The day of the show was the day that I had decided that it was no longer going to work in my life to be in that relationship."

A Series of Firsts

Miley has noted the irony of critics who thinks she's too out there and provocative with the reality: that she married her first love (and first other stuff) after a very long engagement.

"I didn't go all the way with a dude...I was 16," she said on an August 2020 episode of Barstool Sports' Call Your Daddy podcast, reflecting on her first hook-up. "I ended up marrying the guy, so that's pretty crazy." 

Asked to confirm that the guy she married was the first guy she hooked up with, Miley admitted, "Yeah, which I lied and said that he wasn't the first, so I didn't seem like a loser."

Marriage as Life Preserver

After years of proving they were in no rush to get married, Miley and Liam surprised everyone by actually saying "I do" on Dec. 23, 2018, about six weeks after their Malibu home burned down amid a surge of wild fires in Southern California.

The fire "removed me from what no longer was serving its purpose," Miley reflected to Rolling Stone. "And then as you drown, you reach for that lifesaver and you want to save yourself. I think that's really what, ultimately, getting married was for me. One last attempt to save myself."

Similarly, she told Howard Stern in a December 2020 interview about how she went from losing a houseful of possessions to gaining a husband, "Me being an intense person and not wanting to sit with it and not wanting to go, you know, 'What could be purposeful about this?' I just clung to what I had left of that house, which was me and him. And I really do and did love him very, very, very much and still do, always will."

Self-Fulfilling Prophecy

Miley wrote the breakup dirge "Slide Away" at the Malibu house, before the relationship actually ended, but in hindsight she couldn't really tell whether the chicken or the egg came first.

"Does art imitate life or life imitate art? Or do you speak it into existence?" she wondered to RS. "Am I that powerful that when I write something, I become it?"

She continued, "I think of making music sometimes as a sacrifice because you end up writing songs that can hurt people, that can hurt one person but make you feel less alone. It's like, is it worth it? Is it worth writing music that's so honest? Dolly [Parton, her godmother] said there's two sides to every story. When you're telling your side of the story, is it fair? You don't make songs to hurt somebody, but they do. Songs like 'Angels Like You,' it's not easy for someone to listen to when they know it's about them. 'You're going to wish we never met on the day I leave.' Music can be a sacrifice."

Self-Deprecation FTW

Miley's sense of humor remained intact, such as when she came across a TikTok video featuring a couple kissing and dancing to "Plastic Hearts," the pair vowing on their post, "if miley cyrus comments we will get married."

TBD, but Miley did leave a comment, writing, "Hope it goes better for you two than it did for me. Congrats."

Trouble in Paradise

Despite the constant vibe that Miley and Liam did not have one of those dramatic relationships behind the scenes, toward the end at least it became more apparent that they weren't meant to be together forever after all.

There was "too much conflict" eventually, she said on The Howard Stern Show. "When I come home, I want to be anchored by someone. I don't get off on drama or fighting."

Playing House Didn't Feel Like Home

"A couple of years ago, it looked like I was living some fairy tale. It really wasn't," the "Midnight Sky" singer told Rolling Stone in November 2020 of what turned out to be the tail end of her relationship with Liam. "At that time, my experimentation with drugs and booze and the circle of people around me was not fulfilling or sustainable or ever going to get me to my fullest potential and purpose."

Miley acknowledged the old assumption that someone's life is going great so long as they're in a happy-looking relationship. "'She's got a man. She's living in a house playing wife,'" she mock-quoted her observers. "Dude, I was way more off my path at that time than any of the times before where my sanity was being questioned. I don't like ever saying anything in a very solid concrete way, but right now I have been focusing on sobriety as I wanted to wake up 100 percent, 100 percent of the time. If I've ever learned to balance myself and to not take it too far, I would. But so far any time I've messed with that, it hasn't gotten me what I want."

She Didn't Run Out of Kleenex

"In a way, I didn't spend too much time crying over it, and it wasn't because I was cold or trying to avoid feeling something, but it was just because it wasn't going to change it," Miley said of the aftermath of her divorce in a remote Nov. 2 appearance on the Scandinavian show Skavlan. "I tried to just continue to be active in what I can control, otherwise you just start feeling like you're trapped."

And just as women tend to be left with the accusatory question marks over their heads when they don't appear interested in sticking with something forever, so too, Miley believes, is there judgment when a gal isn't demonstrably devastated by the end of a relationship.

"I would say that there's a stigma of coldness for a woman who actually, really moves on," she observed. Miley, who had already embarked on a whirlwind romance with Brody Jenner's ex Kaitlynn Carter as the news of her and Liam's split broke and then proceeded to date Cody Simpson for 10 months, has acknowledged that romance has had its difficulties during the COVID-19 pandemic, but she's been up for it.

"I heal through traveling and meeting new people," Miley explained on Skavlan. "As you lose one person, another person comes into your life."

She Could Take It or Leave It—and Would Rather Leave It

Experiencing a trauma like that fire really did give her the nudge she needed in the direction of marriage, because otherwise, Miley was pretty meh on the subject of settling down.

"Not really, I never really cared that much," she said in August on SiriusXM's The Morning Mash-Up when asked if she herself getting married again or having kids one day. "I am sure that my fans are going to pull up me at 12 saying, 'Oh I want to have kids,' but like I don't, as a 27-year-old woman that would have a little bit more of a realistic idea of what they want. That has never been kind of my priority."

When She's In It, She's In It

There's a difference between doing whatever the hell you want when you're single and when you're in a relationship, and Miley is only a practitioner of the former—despite what some people may think.

"I can accept that the life I've chosen means I must live completely open and transparent with my fans who I love, and the public, 100% of the time," Miley tweeted Aug. 22, 2019, to nip speculation that she'd cheated on Liam in the bud. "What I cannot accept is being told I'm lying to cover up a crime I haven't committed. I have nothing to hide."

Yes, her behavior seemed wild at times, and sometimes it really was. "But the truth is," she insisted, "once Liam and I reconciled, I meant it, and I was committed. There are NO secrets to uncover here. I've learned from every experience in my life. I'm not perfect, I don't want to be, it's boring. I've grown up in front of you, but the bottom line is, I HAVE GROWN UP. I can admit to a lot of things but I refuse to admit that my marriage ended because of cheating. Liam and I have been together for a decade. I've said it before & it remains true, I love Liam and always will." 

Recognizing Her Codependency

While she admittedly enjoys dating and other romantic entanglements, Miley intended for her marriage to be her last stop on the always-need-to-be-with-someone train.

In a delightfully outspoken sit-down on The Joe Rogan Experience podcast released in September 2020, she acknowledged her "tendency to to need someone in my life at all times." Referring to Liam, she explained, "I called the love of mine, who I was with and we got divorced, it was almost like a pacifier. Like, he was that thing I just needed."

Miley's Method

Miley said on the Call Your Daddy podcast that, frankly, she was a logical person more prone to stoically analyze what went wrong in a situation than freak out about it. Which, she acknowledged, isn't necessarily something you can tell about her just by looking.

"I had a very, very public, very big breakup that was over a 10-year span of a relationship," she explained. "Sitting with me now, I would hope you find me to be somewhat this way—which is not the public perception—is I'm very logical. I'm very organized and very kind of center. And so, I love lists. Lists keep my whole f--king world on track."

Relationship postmortems are no different.

"And so, with heartbreak, I tried to not get lost in the emotion," Miley continued. The end of a relationship can be a devastating loss, but "to not get lost in emotion, to focus on the logic, is to make a list of what you were gaining and what you were losing, what they were contributing to your life and what they were subtracting and to value each of these things by one through 10, and then you add them all up.

"And if the person was adding more to your life, then you know what is expected for your next relationship and, what they were subtracting, you know what you will not accept ever again."


The girl had "freedom" tattooed across her right knuckles, for Pete's sake. 'Nuff said.

(Though she did elaborate, telling Apple Music's Zane Lowe in August 2020, " I just feel this sense of freedom, and I think that's a word I've probably used pretty consistently.")

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