"Faith" from The Rules of Attraction (2002)





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Published on Feb 27, 2011

We shot all of the hotel room scenes at the Ritz Carlton in Marina del Rey and we had finished our day early. Ian was in make-up, and I was looking at Russell Sams, who plays Dick, wearing his aviator glasses, and I said "you look like George Michael."

Since we had some time, a crew, a camera, etc., I thought what the hell, let's shoot something fun to watch in dailies tomorrow. Our sound man, Felipe Borrero, quickly found a CD of George Michael's Faith -- which he happened to have in his car. I then told Russell, who was always game for anything, "okay, this is your first film, and as an initiation, I want you to do a striptease dance for the crew to Faith."

Russell stared at me for a second, in slight disbelief, and then said, "okay, sure."

It was improv, and we only had time for one take, so I planted the camera with a wide lens at the foot of the bed, played Faith full blast, and let him loose. It was just something funny for the crew to watch, and everyone was laughing their asses off. Mid-way through, I looked over and saw Ian Somerhalder in the hallway in his bathrobe on the way back from make-up and on the way to his trailer, looking into the room incredulously. I made a quick motion for him to "go for it" and the next thing I knew he jumped into the shot -- right on the beat.

It was, honestly, a completely spontaneous, magic moment, and it was such a funny scene that I simply had to include it in the movie. The only problem was that there was no way we could afford the music licensing rights to Faith, so I wrote a letter to George Michael, and sent him the scene, begging him to let me use it. George, being one of the coolest guys in the universe, gave us the song for a dime, and I will forever be grateful because it's one of my favorite scenes in the movie.

One day I'll go back into editing and pull out the entire unedited version -- the full dance -- which I originally wanted to include in the movie, but trimmed down for reasons of length.

There's nothing I love more than to see the many Youtube videos of people dancing on their beds to Faith. It's, to me, an affirmation of the joy of life.

Rest in peace, George. I'll love you forever.

I am the director of The Rules of Attraction (2002) and this clip is fair use under U.S. copyright law because it is (1) non-commercial, (2) transformative in nature, (3) uses no more of the original work than necessary for the video's purpose, and (4) does not compete with the original work and could have no negative affect on it's market.


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