Director Anthony Mandler has left his mark on music icons such as Eminem, Beyoncé, and The Killers, but his most notable and frequent collaborator is Rihanna. The two have worked on a dozen videos together throughout her career, starting with “Unfaithful” in 2006 and most recently “Russian Roulette.”
Rap-Up.com spoke to him about taking the loyal pop star, who he calls his muse, from good girl to bad. Find out which video people believed would ruin her career, the concept that came to him in a dream, and what he thought of the Melina-directed clips for “Hard” & “Rude Boy.”
How did your relationship with Rihanna start?
I was working with Def Jam on some projects and she was kind of the big up-and-coming artist. They loved some stuff I had done with Nelly Furtado at the time, which was “Maneater,” and they wanted to try and take her image and give her a little more edge and still keep it beautiful. We just really connected. From that point on, it was “Unfaithful.” She saw me as someone who could support and drive her artistry and personality, eventually in a more sexual and womanly way. I saw it as an opportunity to work with somebody in the capacity of a muse. I really look at her like that. I feel like we’ve grown through each other, around each other, and because of each other, and will never take back the quality of work or the freedom that she’s given me to communicate. You kill for stuff like that in an artist, especially in this medium, which is filled with disloyalty and criticism. I can’t tell you how many number one videos I’ve had where the artist went somewhere else after. She’s the ultimate in loyalty.
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