Since dropping in March, Robin Thicke's "Blurred Lines" clip has amassed more than 94 million views, becoming the runaway viral hit of the summer. And it didn't get there without a bit of controversy — particularly surrounding YouTube-barred version that features nude models prancing with Thicke, Pharrell and T.I.
But the video's director, Diane Martel, tells MTV News that even though it was controversial, she wouldn't let anyone scrap the nude version.
"I wrote the idea as a nude video and refused to do the job when they said they didn't want a nude version, that no one would see it," director Diane Martel explained to MTV News about the videos. "A week went by and they begged me to do it and said I could do a nude version, if I also did them a favor and did a dressed version. I like both versions now. I think Robin likes both too, we all do."
The video, serving as the lead visual for his July 30 album of the same name, has certainly stirred up conversation in the process. Speaking with the BBC, the "Blurred Lines" crooner said he actually preferred the clothed version of the kitschy video, but it was his wife, actress Paula Patton, who pushed him to release both versions. With her seal of approval, any reservations he had about how "sleazy" the video would appear were eased.
She added, "Robin has trusted me all the way [with 'Blurred Lines'] and that's a wonderful thing. I love our relationship, we are both strong-minded and it's cool ... he's a sweetheart."
However, Martel wanted to make sure the entire cast was cool with the concept and that included the nude models. So, she enlisted an all-female crew to shoot with her, to guarantee that they were comfortable with the nudity and to ensure "zero sexual tension." She said, "It was really annoying to have to do two videos in one day. The plastic clothes were so uncomfortable and the girls had to keep putting them off and on and it was exhausting. This was the pain for all of us.
"The shoot was amazing otherwise. We were laughing the whole time," she added. "I love talent, and I make sure they are comfortable always... When the guys came out, the guys were so sweet and such gentlemen that helped as well. We all had fun."
In the wake of the release, more male pop stars have followed up with topless music videos, including Justin Timberlake's "Tunnel Vision" and Calvin Harris' latest, "Thinking About You." However, Martel is still floored by how interested people have been in her entry into the cannon of topless lady visuals. "I have been surprised and delighted. The song is so good and the video works really well," she said.
Well, whatever magic Martel and Thicke conjured up on the "Blurred Lines" set just might be replicated in the near future. She confirmed that she'll be shooting the "Give It 2 U" video with Thicke, 2 Chainz and Kendrick Lamar next month. She noted that the video will be a "crazed, half-time dance spectacle."