When a young man falls in love with an alien, it makes for an awfully complicated love affair. But in M83's brand-new video for "Claudia Lewis," it makes for a touching tale reminiscent of music videos past.
Directed by "The Help" actress Bryce Dallas Howard, the clip stars Lilly Collins in the title role, with "Bling Ring" actor Israel Broussard as the doe-eyed boy who falls in love with her (along with her cerulean hair and sometimes-glowing fingers). And when you recruit such Hollywood heavyweights, you end up with an all-out cinematic production.
In fact, it's not just a video, but an MTV supervideo, or what executive producer Kashy Khaledi describes as "a bona fide short film to music." (Drew Barrymore has also stepped behind the lens to direct Best Coast's "Our Deal" supervideo, starring Chloe Grace Moretz, Donald Glover and Alia Shawkat.)
"We bring together music that we love and actors that we love and we make these little homages to what we think great music videos were in the past," Khaledi said on the set of the clip.
And an homage it is. The nearly five-minute clip is a shout-out to music videos and teen-angst films of the past, from the varsity jackets to the bonfire-fueled beach party. The basic story is a relatively familiar one: two outsiders (one very outsider) find each other in the drama-filled chaos of high school. Guy invites girl to aforementioned beach rager, guy and girl fall in love. But it takes a turn for the otherworldly when her skin starts glowing to reveal her true alien identity.
You also may recognize "Awkward" star Ashley Rickards, who despite having a relatively minor role as a girl who gets in a screaming fight with her boyfriend, left Howard praising her as a "powerful, deep, honest actress."
It's all part of Khaledi's way of "Bringing together the right people and putting them all in a blender." And while it's hard to predict the exact concoction that will result, that's part of what was so fun for star Lilly Collins.
"You have to really be in the moment, be in character. And then afterwards it will all come to fruition and be quite magical," Collins said on set. "It's been a blast, and I get to wear blue hair! So fun."