Rihanna showed off her pale-hued softer side in her "California King Bed" video. A sweeping, romantic look at the demise of a relationship is perfectly encapsulated in the Anthony Mandler-directed clip.
Rihanna and Mandler are certainly not strangers when it comes to collaborating, having made more than a dozen clips together, ranging from the fun "Only Girl (In the World)" to the dark "Russian Roulette." When MTV News recently spoke to Mandler, he noted that he and Ri brought out a whole new side to the always-changing singer.
"I think it's something that is so unique about Rihanna whatever she's doing, whatever character she's playing, whatever side of herself she's showing, she's in it 1,000 percent," he explained. "They're all twists and variations on herself, and in each of them, the way she pushes the visual and the way she pushes the styling and the look of it, she really kind of gives them another twist on Rihanna.
"And I think the song and the theme of this song, she wanted to obviously show a softer side, a lighter side, one that's caught in maybe a tumultuous relationship," he continued. "But not let the tumultuous relationship dominate the visual, really counterbalance it with tension-filled chaotic beauty."
Instead of finding a scenic location on which to shoot the video, they built their own set in order to have control over the elements of the video. Rihanna gave Mandler a "basic foundation," and from there, he put his magic on what he describes as a "really pure beauty video with a story line underneath."
Having shot both a softer-edge Rihanna and a harder-edged one, Mandler weighed in on which he prefers. "There's so much variety with her and it's been such a journey with her," he said. "It's hard to say which one I enjoy more than the other. I just enjoy working with her, so whatever that means. ... There are gray shades that are brilliant that I'm constantly discovering."