‘Telephone’ and ‘Video Phone’ both earned multiple nominations.By Jocelyn Vena
Lady Gaga in the “Video Phone” video
Photo: Columbia/Music World
Lady Gaga and Beyoncé have hooked up on two multi-VMA-nominated videos: the epic combo of “Video Phone” and “Telephone.” The bottom line is, when Gaga calls B, she answers, and vice versa. And the VMAs are big fans of their team-ups.
Gaga and Beyoncé first paired up for B’s “Video Phone,” an ode to sexting. For the clip, B embraced a number of pinup-girl looks, and Gaga embraced a more Beyoncé look, complete with white bodysuit and loose waves. The video, directed by the legendary Hype Williams, was really all about Beyoncé — and, that was Gaga’s intention.
“I said, ‘I want to do you in your video, and I want to tribute you. I want to dress up like you,’ ” Gaga recalled telling her co-star. “And Hype Williams … was so excited. He was like, ‘Gaga, I want no makeup on your face.’ It was really It was really stripped-down — real Beyoncé hair, and we wore the same outfit in the video, and I [paid tribute to] her.
“What I was excited about is, with B, I had no ego,” Gaga explained further. “Neither of us had an ego. It wasn’t about competition. It was about, like, ‘Man, let’s give the world what they want. Let’s do a real girl-power collaboration where we support one another.’ ”
The ladies didn’t end the girl-power antics there. Beyoncé paid Gaga back by appearing on her anti-phone club anthem “Telephone.” “Something that I have or fear is never being able to enjoy myself,” Gaga said about the track. “That’s my fear — that the phone’s ringing and my head’s ringing. Whether it’s a telephone or it’s just the thoughts in your head, that’s another fear.”
For the video, Gaga brought B into her dark, cartoon-like world. The video, directed by Jonas Åkerlund, sees Gaga and Beyoncé as a Tarantino-tinged Thelma and Louise, seeking revenge against evil beaus. And while Gaga paid tribute to B when she appeared in the “Video Phone” video, she made sure Beyoncé embraced all things Gaga for her video.
“The video, in a lot of ways, is more about [Beyoncé] even than it is about me,” Gaga said of the collaboration. “It was sort of a pop-art venture for me to bring her into my world. In a way, the video is an attempt for her and I to erase pop music as we know it up until this very point. It’s meant to change the perspective of the world on what a pop-music video should be, and she’s kind of the vehicle for that. In reality, more people around the world are familiar with her aesthetics than they are with mine. It was something for me to kind of change the way that you see her for one video.”
The 27th annual MTV Video Music Awards will be broadcast live from the Nokia Theatre in Los Angeles on Sunday. The party starts with MTV News’ VMA Pre-Show at 8 p.m., followed by the main event at 9 p.m. ET. Fans can go to VMA.MTV.com (or text VMA to 97979 if they are Verizon subscribers) to vote for Best New Artist from now through Sunday.
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