One Direction dropped their video for "Best Song Ever" on Monday. In it, the fab five not only play themselves, but also Hollywood big wigs. The various disguises and costumes may have been unexpected, but they also do the unimaginable: a big dance routine.
MTV News spoke to the video's director, Ben Winston, who broke down some of the video's more memorable moments, frame by frame.
"Obviously it's accompanying the film, so part of the idea, I guess, was we would take characters who they may have met in Hollywood and who they may have sort of had interactions with. Of course, it's a spoof 'cause no one at the studio working on this movie would ever act anything like that," he said of the video, which builds up to their August 30 movie release, "This Is Us."
Immediately upon the video kicking off, fans are greeted with the alter egos, two studio executives, played by Niall Horan and Louis Tomlinson, as well as their female assistant, played by Zayn Malik.
"I think Zayn is an incredibly good actor for a start and he's got an amazing sense of humor and is one of the most lovely people you'll ever meet, and I think people have the perception that he's this sort of dark, moody character," Winston explained of casting him as female in the film to try and shake up that perception.
"I just thought I wanted people to be surprised by this video and all elements of it from the dancing, to them playing opposite themselves, to the script, to the fact that it's almost a short film," Winston said. "And therefore, Zayn being the sexy assistant would the thing that people would be the most amazed by."
The other guys played their polar opposites too, the director said. "Harry [Styles, who plays the marketing executive], people are used to seeing him do sort of outlandish things. Niall and Louis, I really wanted them to play studio execs and I thought Liam [Payne] would be the choreographer really well."
Along the way, 1D and their alter egos share screen time, "which I thought it would be quite funny if on screen we could get the characters that we created to play opposite themselves. Of course, a lot of that is done with camera trickery and green screen. I thought it crosses the line to make people think, [if they haven't heard about the video's concept]."
As the video builds, a big dance routine breaks out shortly after the band trashes the offices at their failed pitch meeting. The dance number allowed the group to change up the scenery of the video.
"The one [thing] they're known for is that they don't dance, so if you made the joke in the video 'They don't dance,' how about you do a really, really bad dance routine that is, like, terrible," he said, noting that many of the moves have been used in previous 1D videos, serving as a tribute to the guys. "If 1D did do dancing what would it look like and that was it. I hope to make people laugh and I hope people realize they're not doing seriously."
In the end, even when 1D are poking fun at themselves, the video is really about celebrating the band. He said, "Therefore they actually put the DVD into the exec's DVD [player], show them some clips [of] 'This Is Us' and, in the end, just graffiti a picture of them looking cool, looking normal, looking how we would find them every day. And the punch line, of course, is this is us; don't try and make us anybody that we're not. We are who we are and we're never going to change for anybody."