Ariana Grande got everyone making out in public when she released the video for "Everyday," featuring Future, on Sunday.
The clip, directed by Chris Marss Piliero, has Grande, in hair nubs and oversize puffer jacket, posing and dancing triumphantly around, erm, involved couples. Those couples include two people going at it on the hood of a car, another two vigorously groping each other in a laundromat, some officemates getting busy on the copy machine, and a geriatric couple getting hot and heavy on the city bus. Los Angeles-based actor Mike Still was lucky enough to be one of those smoochers.
Still, who wrote and starred in ABC's digital Broken series, met fellow comedian Alison Stevenson on a brisk day in January, knowing very well they'd have their faces stuck together most of the day. They're the couple at the beginning of the video (Still has that ginger beard and beanie) who take off their shirts and grab each other with gusto.
We hopped on the phone with Still to find out what it was like getting intimate in front of Ariana Grande and a full video crew -- not to mention the 12 million-plus people who have viewed the video so far.
How did you become a part of this project -- was there a casting call for aggressive kissers?
A casting director reached out to me and was basically like, "Hey, do you want to be in a music video? There'd be, potentially, revealing clothing, but no nudity, but kind of revealing." At first I was like, "No, I don't know what this is." When I found out it was an Ariana Grande music video, I was like, "Oh cool! I'd like to be in that."
Did you meet with your make-out partner on set?
We met on set. She's a great stand-up comic, Allison, but I hadn't met her before. I'd just seen her stuff online.
So you definitely made out the first time you met each other.
Very first time. It was quite a hello.
What was that like? Were you nervous? How did you feel?
You get to set and you get your costume on and you're looking at the schedule and everything. I knew that we had an hour or so before the big scene started, so we were chatting, getting to know each other. There was no rehearsal, there was no practice, we went right into it.
Is this the first time you've done something like this on camera?
I've had kissing scenes before, but never like that. That was pretty intense. It was on a car in the middle of the street! I was in a commercial once where I was half-naked [for Buffalo Wild Wings], but there was no kissing there. And then I had a few kissing scenes in the series I did for ABC. But it's pretty intense. You have to kind of ignore the fact that there's a lot of people around you.
It's aggressive kissing too.
The first take was the long take where Ariana is dancing around us, so we really had to dive right in.
What was it like to know that a huge pop star was dancing above you while you were doing your thing?
The first time we were on set, I hadn't seen her yet. I heard her singing just around the corner, and I was like, "Oh, that's definitely Ariana." Amazing voice. She's the total real deal. Then, of course, in the music video, as it's happening, she's kind of like, moving around us. But my biggest concern when that was happening was falling off the hood of the car. We kept sliding off the hood of the car, so we had sandbags behind us. You could feel Ariana's presence as everything was going on, and I'm just trying not to slide off. I wanted to make it look good for her.
My favorite screencap is at the end, when Ariana has her arms spread out open while you're going at it…
On top of the car, right? So funny. She's such a good sport. Anytime you work with anyone that you admire or that you've seen on TV or in music before, you're always like, "I hope they're a nice person. I hope working with them isn't disillusioning." She couldn't have been nicer. She's so cool. She's there, has a great eye for the picture, has a great eye for what's going to play well in the music video. So she was coming up with ideas, like to get on top of the car. She was like, "Can I get up on top of here?" They were like, "Yeah, let's try that."
What have people been saying to you after the video came out?
One, you really realize how many fans Ariana has. People that didn't even see my social-media posts about it were watching the music video. In the first day and a half, it had 8 million views. So many, and it's still going up. It was weird having cousins and old friends and random people recognizing me. You can't see my face that much.
Have the Grande fans found you?
My Instagram has gone up a little bit, but I keep my account private.
How long were you on set for?
It was a full day of work. It was eight hours on set. Everything kept moving. It was a good crew.
What percent of the time were you actively kissing?
So I think we shot the car scene in about an hour or less. It was a lot. I mean, we weren't making out the entire time. The longest was when we had to do one full length of the song, you know, because they have to shoot the entire song. They'll shoot Ariana dancing around us for the whole song. So we had to keep that going for the full length of the song. We were on the car for about an hour.
You have a beard, right?
Yeah, I do! Hopefully [Alison] wasn't too scratched up.
I'm glad you got to be a part of this. It's one of my favorite Ariana Grande videos so far.
I thought the video turned out so well. We were kinda nervous, like, "Oh my gosh, we were really making out! I hope they edit this in a way that's tasteful." And it was! And it's funny, it's affirming. I think the music video itself is really great because I think that's showing couples of different sexualities, and showing couples of different races and different ages, and share different kinds of love that exists. I thought it was a really cool video and it did it in a fun way that wasn't too heavy-handed. It was just fun. It just treated love like it's a fun, adorable thing.