‘If I didn’t do this video, I should just quit pop videos,’ Joseph Kahn tells MTV News.
By James Montgomery
Joseph Kahn is one of the biggest video directors in the world, but he didn’t get to where he is today by burying his head in the sand. So when he was approached about doing Eminem and Rihanna’s “Love the Way You Lie” clip, he said yes, even though he was due to start shooting a feature film two weeks later.
But it wasn’t only the big names that attracted him to the project … it was actually the fact that everything about the project reminded him of another video he’d directed: Britney Spears’ comeback single “Womanizer.”
“It is like ‘Womanizer,’ ” Kahn told MTV News. “Part of the success in [the video industry] is to be smart enough to recognize when those opportunities are given, and, you know what? I think if I didn’t do this video, I should just quit pop videos, because it’s obviously a giant thing that was about to happen. You couldn’t get me away from this one.”
So Kahn famously hammered out a treatment for the clip in one furious session and turned the video around at a breakneck pace. His hustle has already paid off, because “Love the Way You Lie” has quickly become one of the most talked-about videos in recent memory. And much like “Womanizer” did for Spears, its success has only added another chapter to Eminem’s rather remarkable comeback story, which sort of proves just how smart Kahn is. Though, the way he tells it, this one was pretty much a no-brainer, all the way.
“I think that this is Eminem’s finest album … trust me, at the time, I was going to shoot my movie in about two weeks, so taking a week of my time away from my movie to do this is a huge commitment on my part,” Kahn said. “The only reason I did it [was] because the song was so amazing, and the album is so great, and Eminem is in such a great moment, and it was such an important topic to do. He’s dealing with these massive issues in such a brilliant, pop-y, artistic way, that, as a pop-video director, I cannot step away from this.”
What’s your favorite Joseph Kahn-directed video? Tell us in the comments!