updated 09/11/2013 AT 3:00 PM ET
•originally published 09/11/2013 AT 3:30 PM ET
“I think the video is much more,” she said on Wednesday in an interview with Elvis Duran on Z100. “If people get past the point I make, and you actually look at me, you can tell I look more broken than even the song sounds.”
The song, which is about a relationship gone wrong, “is a pop ballad that everyone can relate to, everyone has felt that feeling at some point,” the twerking queen says.
And while the video, which has more than 44 million views on YouTube, begins with an extreme close-up of Cyrus’s face as a tear rolls down her cheek, the more memorable moments feature the singer suggestively licking a sledgehammer and perching on top of a swinging wrecking ball sans clothes.
But the 20-year-old says of the video, which was directed by provocative photographer Terry Richardson, “If people can take their minds off the obvious and go into their imagination and see what the video really means, it is so vulnerable.”
“If you look at my eyes, I look more sad than actually my voice sounds on the record,” says Cyrus, whose engagement to Hunger Games star Liam Hemsworth has had its share of ups and downs. “It was a lot harder to do the video than it was to record the song. It was much more of an emotional experience.”