In what can only be called the most awe-inspiring collection of B-level stars this side of "The Love Boat," Hollywood legends old and new were in Los Angeles last week to guest star in Moby's new video, "We Are All Made Out of Stars."
Actors Corey Feldman, Gary Coleman, Todd Bridges, Thora Birch, Vern "Mini Me" Troyer and Hollywood incarnate, Ron Jeremy, were just a smattering of the talent on hand to take part in the clip, along with Dave Navarro and Tommy Lee. (Click
for photos from the video shoot.)
"Stars" is the first single off of Moby's upcoming album, 18, and was inspired by quantum physics. "On a basic quantum level, all the matter in the universe is essentially made up of stardust," Moby explained.
Playing off the celestial concept, director Joseph Kahn rounded up some of the biggest "stars" he could find and had Moby, the perennial cool-kid outsider, play a spaceman who interacts with them.
At times, the set was chaotic, as managing all that celebrity is a full-time job in itself. "These aren't normal people," Kahn said. "These are Hollywood stars. If you've ever had to deal with one ... ? We've got to deal with 20 of them in three days. It's like going to war ... a beautiful, fun war."
Also suffering for his art was Moby, who had to don an 80-pound spacesuit for his role. "That spacesuit was designed by sadists," Moby lamented. "I honestly think it's designed by people in al Qaeda or Taliban to punish our Western imperialist ways. But I'm not complaining. ... "
The video, based on photographs by Philip-Lorca diCorcia, is "a fashion take of all the excesses of Hollywood, both the lows and the high. But mostly the lows," Kahn said. "If there's a high, it's about the ugliness of Hollywood and how you can make that beautiful.
"Hollywood is like this town where almost anything can happen so anything does happen," he continued. "If you're one of the famous people, you can get overloaded on every sort of sin you could possibly have, to the point it gets boring."
All the locations are classic, iconic Hollywood venues: Hollywood Boulevard, seedy strip clubs, bars, tattoo parlors, and, of course, Kinko's. "Places," Moby said, "where normally you'd have debauchery and degeneracy and hedonism happening, but there's a banal side to it. My hope is, through showing the banal side of degenerate Hollywood, there's a sense of humanity to it as well, and we reveal endearing qualities in these iconic figures."
And what better way to illustrate that than with a "Diff'rent Strokes" reunion? "To see Gary Coleman and Todd Bridges together is a fantasy that we've had for a long time," Moby said. "I hope the rest of the world appreciates it just as much as we did. Sitting in Del Taco, watching the two of them sing lyrics to one of my songs, it was really special."
18 is due May 14 (see "Moby's Next Album Is Called 18, But What Does That Mean?").