When Britney Spears shot the video for “Toxic” in 2003, she had already started to play with her image and was emerging as a pop vixen. When the clip for “Toxic,” the second single from In the Zone, was released, fans saw Spears as a spy out to seek revenge on her lover.
“It’s basically about a girl addicted to a guy,” Spears told MTV in 2003. “I really like ’Toxic.’ It’s an upbeat song. It’s really different, that’s why I like it so much. This villain girl, she’ll do anything to get what she wants. She goes through different obstacles.”
For the video, Britney seems to be a flight attendant, but she’s actually a secret agent in disguise. “The plot is pretty nonsensical,” director Joseph Kahn told MTV News. “It’s just fun. [It’s like] James Bond flicks and sex.”
That combination only got better when Britney appeared in a suit made of nude material covered in diamonds. “Britney said she wanted to shoot a scene wearing diamonds and nothing else, and I’m like, ’How do I make this work?’ ” Kahn said. “She said she wanted to dance. I didn’t like the bikini she was wearing.”
Instead, the pair opted to leave very little to the imagination. “Joseph’s very ambitious. He’s a professional,” Britney said. “I came up with the concept and threw it out there. … There are jewels all over my body. There’s nothing actually underneath.”
With the release of Britney Spears: The Singles Collection, MTV News is looking back on the pop star’s career through interviews with video directors, music-industry insiders and Spears herself, as she reflects on some of her greatest hits. Keep coming back for all things Britney, and let us know your favorite Brit songs, videos, memories and more in the comments below!