In the upcoming "Eyes Wide Shut," the final film from director Stanley Kubrick, actors Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman share a steamy scene together. As they go through their amorous motions, singer Chris Isaak's smoldering "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing" swells in the background.
"They're married so it's OK," Isaak deadpanned recently. "I've spoken to my pastor about it."
Soon, the song will also be heating up the radio airwaves.
Warner Bros. is planning to promote the song as a single beginning July 6 and have commissioned a video from director Herb Ritts, according to Bob Merlis, Isaak's publicist. The video will co-star Laetitia Casta, who appeared in the buff on the cover of a recent issue of Rolling Stone.
As excited as he is about all that, Isaak was even more thrilled when the offer came to work with Kubrick, who directed such classic films as "Dr. Strangelove" and "2001: A Space Odyssey."
"When I first found out, they called me up at 'The Tonight Show' [when] I was getting ready to go on," Isaak said. "They said they wanted to use my music in a movie, which is nothing new to me, so I said 'OK great.' And then they said they need to know tonight. Usually, when people push me for an answer, I say 'forget it.' But then they said, 'It's Stanley Kubrick.' and I said, 'Are you crazy? For sure!' "
Even more thrilling for Isaak was the possibility that he might actually get to meet Kubrick. "In the back of my fevered mind, I'm thinking, 'If this goes into the film, at some point I'm going to meet Stanley Kubrick,' " Isaak said. "And that was a big enticement to me, because there's not a lot of people who work on that level" (RealAudio excerpt of interview).
Unfortunately that meeting would never take place. Kubrick died of natural causes March 7 in England.
But Isaak is flattered that Kubrick was inspired to use "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing" in the film. "I love to think he was sitting someplace, putting on one of my records and saying, 'Oh yeah that would be perfect,' " Isaak said (RealAudio excerpt of interview).
The single's timing could also be ideal given the July 16 release date of "Eyes Wide Shut." WTMX-FM 101.9 (The Mix) in Chicago has already started playing the cut. "Basically, we decided to play the song, because there's so much hype surrounding the movie," the station's assistant program director, Jaime Kartak, said.
"Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing," which is ripe with sensuality and erotic imagery, originally appeared on Isaak's 1995 album Forever Blue.
"I like the idea when parents tell little kids not to do something, they scold them [and] say, 'That's a bad bad thing,' " Isaak said. "But it's also used in kind of a twisted way by adults having sex together, and it's sort of a meld of the two in my mind. Somebody who is so evil and twisted and bad, and yet, you still want them" (RealAudio excerpt of interview).
For Isaak, the use of "Baby Did a Bad Bad Thing" (RealAudio excerpt) in "Eyes Wide Shut" is almost a case of déjà vu. In 1990, his third album, Heart Shaped World, received a lukewarm reception. But when director David Lynch used an instrumental version of the LP's "Wicked Game" (RealAudio excerpt) in his movie "Wild At Heart," an Atlanta radio station music director tracked down the original version, which subsequently became Isaak's biggest hit.
"Filmmakers have a lot of times gone to my music, and it's been very flattering," Isaak said. "And it's been good for my career, because radio people look at my work and say, ' "Wicked Game"what do I do with that?' "
Isaak's involvement with movies has not been limited to contributing songs. His classic good looks snagged him small acting roles in "Married to the Mob" and "The Silence of the Lambs." He is preparing to star in a film that begins shooting in New Orleans at the end of the summer.
Meanwhile, Isaak is currently on tour and readying material for his next album. "I'm always working on my next album." he said.