Sailors and Elvis and Surfers, Oh My! That’s just some of the kitschy parts One Direction play in their just-released “Kiss You” video . And, if you think the video’s vintage-inspired moments are giggle-worthy, then the guys did just what they set out to do.
When the group hit the set to film the clip, director Vaughan Arnell wanted it to be more about showing off the group’s comedic timing than about having them smolder up yet another music video.
Calling the video “a good springboard for them to have a laugh,” Arnell told MTV News, “It’s giving them a playground to play in. We took it to the next level [from the ’Live While We’re Young’ video]. The boys have always been themselves and for this one they’re playing characters. The idea was it gave them a bit more of an extension to perform in the video. Basically, you kind of write little ideas and then you give them a few pointers but then they sort of take over. And they just make it their own, which I really like. They’re very entertaining.”
And when Arnell filmed with the guys this time around (he also worked with them on “Live” and “Little Things”), he was pleasantly surprised to find out just how funny they all are — displaying their own senses of humor throughout the colorful clip without too much direction.
“They’ve all got their own kind of [thing]. Harry might do sort of different poses and Louis will throw in this mad dance now and again, Niall just pulls these brilliant faces, Zayn just sort of throws a curveball at you when you’re not expecting it and Liam just does this kind of straight thing, has a really funny straight man in the whole thing,” he explained of the fivesome. “There wasn’t one of them that didn’t stand up to the bar.”
The guys had made it clear in several interviews with MTV News leading up to the video’s premiere that they weren’t taking themselves very seriously at all in this video. “It is a comedy video,” Harry Styles teased late last year.
And, later on, the guys expanded a bit on what that would mean, visually. “Pure stupidity ,” Louis Tomlinson shared about what fans should expect in the clip, with Liam Payne chiming in with, “Yes, loads of fun. Stupid dancing, loads of different locations and lots of fun.”
Watching the video , it’s clear that the boys are not only paying homage to Elvis Presley, but also some other teen heartthrobs from back in the day. The reason for all that figurative time traveling has something to do with the beachy, vintage vibe of the Take Me Home track.
“It felt really kind of Beach Boys, almost like a 50’s B-movie, like a 50’s surfer B-movie and then I think ’How can we do that?’ And then I was thinking like the cult surfing films and how we can take almost all that kind of almost like a Elvis Presley ’Blue Hawaii’ and the ’Jailhouse Rock,’ mixing up all that … it was kind of taking all that fun and all that tongue-in-cheekiness and mixing it up with a bit of Hollywood meets British cinema,” he explained, noting that he was also influenced by the 1963 Cliff Richard film, “Summer Holiday.” “[It has a] Technicolor vibe to it all, it’s a romp, really like a British kind of romp.”
The video breaks the fourth wall several times; taking fans out of the scene and giving them an inside look at the making of the clip during the actual video. That concept grew from not only the video’s origins in those old films, but also another idea they had for it. “It’s almost like part of it is behind-the-scenes,” he said. “Originally we were going to call it ’Kiss You, The Movie,’ but we didn’t want to make it too confusing with everybody — but it’s kind of got that big, old Hollywood kind of thing.”
What’s your favorite moment from the “Kiss You” video? Let us know in the comments!