Lady Gaga’s Will Smith Fandom Inspired the ‘Bad Romance’ Video

Will Smith is such a massive celebrity that other celebrities are fans of his. For example, Lady Gaga is a massive Smith fan. Smith’s filmography even inspired an aspect of the “Bad Romance” music video.

Will Smith | MATT CAMPBELL/AFP via Getty Images

How the Will Smith movie ‘I Am Legend’ influenced the music video for Lady Gaga’s ‘Bad Romance’

Firstly, a little background. Smith made his name on a mix of comedies, action movies, and pop-rap. However, he hasn’t always stuck to that formula. For example, he starred in the action-horror movie I Am Legend, based on Richard Matheson’s novel of the same name. While the film might not be as well-remembered as Independence Day, Men in Black, or The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air, Box Office Mojo reports it managed to earn $585 million against a budget of $150 million.

In addition, Gaga’s video for “Bad Romance” wouldn’t be the same without I Am Legend. Francis Lawrence, the same director behind the video for Beyonce’s “Run the World (Girls)” and The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, directed I Am Legend. His work on I Am Legend inspired Gaga to collaborate with him for “Bad Romance.”

“Run the World (Girls)”

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“It was collaborative,” Gaga told MTV News. “‘[Lawrence is] a really pop video director and a filmmaker. He did I Am Legend and I’m a huge Will Smith fan, so I knew he could execute the video in a way that I could give him all my weirdest, most psychotic ideas,” she said. “But it would come across to and be relevant to the public.” Although Gaga’s fondness for I Am Legend inspired her to work with Lawrence, the “Bad Romance’ video doesn’t resemble the movie very much.

What Lady Gaga thought was special about Francis Lawrence

Gaga further described her feelings about “I wanted somebody with a tremendous understanding of how to make a pop video, because my biggest challenge working with directors is that I am the director and I write the treatments and I get the fashion and I decide what it’s about and it’s very hard to find directors that will relinquish any sort of input from the artist,” she said. “But Francis and I worked together.” She added “I knew [Lawrence’s] ability as a director is so much higher than what I could [do].”

“Bad Romance”

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How the world reacted to ‘Bad Romance’ and its music video

So did Gaga’s decision to collaborate with Lawrence pay off? The track reached No. 2 on the Billboard Hot 100. In addition, the video for the track gained popular acclaim. A 2017 poll by Billboard ranked the video for “Bad Romance” as the greatest music video of the 2000s. It beat out other classic videos, including the ones for Britney Spears’ “Toxic,” Queen B’s “Single Ladies (Put a Ring on It),” and Panic! at the Disco’s “I Write Sins Not Tragedies.” “Bad Romance” is a classic music video and it wouldn’t be the same if Gaga wasn’t a huge fan of Smith.