Asked if he thought Mr. Bieber appreciated the work that went into making “Never Say Never,” Mr. Chu answered immediately that he did. Then he paused and reflected on the question.

“He shows you his appreciation in different ways,” Mr. Chu added. “Yesterday he punched me in the stomach and he said, ‘You’re a beast.’ In Justin’s world, that means, ‘You are amazing and thank you very much.’ So I take that.”

Dave Itzkoff, “’My World’ and Welcome to It”