Behind Britney's Steamy 'Criminal'
Britney Spears' steamy music video for Criminal -- which features lots of sex and a light bit of slapping -- has been generating as many headlines as the "who is it about?" track did upon debut this past March. In an attempt to get the straight story, we went right to the horse's mouth: the video's visionary director, Chris Marrs Piliero (who previously worked with Miss Brit on the public image skewering video, I Wanna Go).
The moment that's fueled the most headlines isn't Britney's steamy trysts with real-life fiancee Jason Trawick, it's the opening moment where she gets slapped by a bad, bad boyfriend. "I really wanted to make sure he was just this a**hole douchebag," Piliero tells The Insider.com of the slap's genesis. "I wanted him to intimidating and the moment to be incredibly uncomfortable so it was taken to that level of, 'Whoa! F*** this guy!" And hitting Britney has that effect."
Britney is saved, in the video, from further abuse by Jason's character -- the two then embark on a Bonnie & Clyde-esque crime spree that Chris aimed to make a "fairytale with balls." A major component of the music video are a pair of sex scenes, the most intense Britney has ever filmed, which is why having her real life love play her carnal "Criminal" ended up being such a bonus.
"In the beginning, I was definitely not super stoked about him being in the video, but I kept that to myself," Piliero laughs. But once it came time to film, Jason's performance more than made up for his thin resume. Plus, he -- most importantly -- made Britney feel more at ease with the love scenes. "When we had a discussion about how far those scenes were going to go, it obviously had to be Jason because that's how we’re gonna get the best performance out of Britney."
"I gave them minimal direction during that first take so it wasn't daunting and after that it was like, boom, 'Put your hand here, maneuver your body just a little bit this way, let's change positions over here.' We all vibed really well from the beginning, but everything immediately fell into place during the sex scenes."
Moments that have led fans to wonder if that bare body actually belongs to Brit. "I can tell you 100 percent, no body double," Piliero reveals. "That was her the entire time in all those scenes."
In the end, the director couldn't be happier with the finished product or the continued relationship with his new muse. "Britney just really killed it. She really went for it and totally opened herself up for the performance. But I knew from the minute we were filming that final kiss scene. The DP and I just looked at each other in that moment and said, "this is gonna be super cool."
Do you think Britney's Criminal is cool? Watch below & weigh in!