Given that he's one of the biggest names in music videos and his latest project featured both Eminem and Rihanna, Joseph Kahn should have had no problem casting the two leads for the "Love the Way You Lie" video. And yet, he considers himself "incredibly lucky" to have landed both Dominic Monaghan and Megan Fox for the clip.
"Megan is one of those choices, like, whenever you write a music video, you go, 'I want a girl like Megan Fox,' " Kahn told MTV News. "I guarantee, like, 95 percent of music videos, they write, 'I would like a girl like Megan Fox.'"
Kahn said Fox is so popular, he didn't initially consider her participation a possibility. "We were actually looking around for some other actresses, and then, midway through, I just thought, 'Why don't I just try this?' " he said. "I mean, I have the biggest artist in the world, with the hottest song on the planet, with the hottest female artist ... and it's a meaty role. It's not like you're just slipping in there and looking pretty."
Fortunately for Kahn, Fox is an Eminem fan, and she loved the song and the role. "So, she said 'yes,' " he said. "I was blown away."
On the other hand, the director said he considered courting Monaghan right away. "I wanted him because he's an actor who can bury himself [in his roles]," Kahn said. "You can do anything with him, and essentially, he's a villain through all of [the video], and I think he did a great job."
So, with two big-name actors on set, and only two days to shoot the entire video, Kahn had his work cut out for him. Monaghan and Fox were going to need to channel conflicting emotions — anger one second, passion the next — and do it quickly. As the director, it was up to Kahn to help them harness all of that — often at a moment's notice. Luckily for him, he had two of the best to work with.
"I just told them: This is not like a normal film. We have two days on set, and we have to think of it as an acting workshop, because you're going to have to ramp up into emotions in two seconds, you're not going to know what the story is, and you're going to have to trust one another," he explained. "I'm asking them to go from zero to 100 in two seconds, so they were using all their techniques as actors. Dom would be calling her names, she'd be calling him names ... to see them turn it on like that, it was really a fascinating acting study."