Chris Marrs Piliero opens up to MTV News about working with non-actor Jason Trawick in new video.
By Jocelyn Vena, with reporting by Vanessa White Wolf
Britney Spears certainly had everyone talking when she dropped her steamy "Criminal" video. Sure, fans were talking about the sex and gunplay, but they were also going bananas over the appearance of Brit's real-life boyfriend, Jason Trawick, who plays her criminally handsome beau in the clip.
The idea to include Trawick in the video was all Britney's, but director Chris Marrs Piliero wasn't sure he was so into it. "When she first hit me up, she had a basic story in mind, and she actually always originally planned to have Jason, her boyfriend, play the role, and I wasn't super stoked on that idea at first, actually," he told MTV News.
Most of his reservations were because Trawick isn't a professional actor and he wasn't sure his rookie acting skills would translate well in the mini-movie. "I wanted to make a really rad, epic video, and I definitely got the sense from her she wanted something really cool," he explained. "And in my mind, I was just thinking then, 'We really should not be using your boyfriend; we should get an actor.' So, I mean, I didn't say that, but in the back of my mind, I'm like, 'I don't like this idea at all.' "
Trawick and his abs, however, managed to impress Piliero — and Britney loyalists everywhere. "At the end of the day, Jason killed it. That was one of those things I was really stoked [about], as much as I went into it like, 'Wow, he's not an actor. This is going to be interesting,' but I really do like a challenge, and I really do like the idea that I'm a director and my job is to direct and get the performance. For me, it was a fun challenge to be like, 'I'm gonna make sure that you are awesome,' and he was."
Piliero also worked with Spears on her video for "I Wanna Go," and he was once again dazzled by her sassy acting skills. "Of course, Britney was rad," he said. "She does a good job at nailing and doing the little acting thing. She's cool at it."
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