When [artist id="976"]Mariah Carey’s[/artist] latest single “Obsessed” hit the airwaves, speculation swirled that the song is directed at Eminem as a response to his track “Bagpipes From Baghdad.” Fuel was added to that rumor’s fire after stills from the video were released — photos that seem to suggest that Carey dressed as Eminem for the clip.
But the video’s director, Brett Ratner, insists that as far as he knows, the song — off Carey’s latest album, Memoirs of an Imperfect Angel, out next month — isn’t about Eminem.
“It’s not about Eminem — we weren’t like, ‘Let’s find an Eminem look-alike,’ ” he told MTV News about the stalker character in the video, which he originally wanted to be played by Ellen DeGeneres. “We weren’t talking to any Eminem [look-alikes]. I guess it’s a good rumor, but I don’t think it’s true. I don’t really know. I never asked her, but then when I recommended Ellen, that’s where she got the idea.”
Ratner had heard the Eminem rumors, but insisted that Carey never told him the song was penned about the MC. The look Mariah rocks in the video was devised simply as a way to hide Mariah’s lady assets.
“Mariah never talked to me about that,” he explained. “You know, Mariah … she’s like the most feminine girl you can imagine, so the more I covered up the less work I had to do on the transitions of changing back and forth. I kind of told the wardrobe guy, ‘Let’s bulk her up with layers and stuff’ — first of all, to hide her breasts, because they’re prominent, and to kind of make her more boyish. A b-boy made sense.”
Ratner, who worked with Mariah on many of her videos including last year’s “Touch My Body,” explained that the video was more inspired by two films rather than Eminem: his love for the classic Martin Scorsese flick “The King of Comedy” and Carey’s love for the Lindsay Lohan flick “Mean Girls.”
“It was inspired by a movie that I love called ‘King of Comedy,’ when Sandra Bernhard was stalking Jerry Lewis — and that’s why I wanted to move it to New York,” he said, adding, “Mariah loves ‘Mean Girls.’ I think it’s funny [when the stalker gets hit with the bus like in the film] …”
The director explained that so many of their collaborations show the funny side of Mariah Carey because they share a special bond and are “like kids — we love playing and role playing. We love telling stories and making movies.”
“She’s really like a kid. All her nuances … she’s like a big kid. That’s what I think we’re trying to capture. It doesn’t have to be all serious and sexy and everyone thinks she’s a big diva,” he said. “She’s very comfortable with me. And she’s so smart. Like Madonna, she knows where her light is … she’ll know if she’s out of focus.”