When Mariah Carey isn't hanging with her kids and hubby Nick Cannon or beefing…
- Posted on Feb 19th 2010 12:00PM by Linda Laban
Fans can now add "ace tennis player" to the list of Jake Gyllenhaal's many talents. The actor is part of a superstar cast for Vampire Weekend's new video for 'Giving Up the Gun,' which also brings together another fine tennis player, Joe Jonas, as well as Wu-Tang Clan's RZA and Lil Jon. The clip is a stylish but decidedly weird dreamlike sequence where Vampire Weekend video muse Jenny plays the tennis game of her life.
The surreal quality stems from Vampire Weekend frontman Ezra Koenig's original inspiration. "I was stressed out one night worrying about the video and an image popped into my head of our friend Jenny (who's also in the 'Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa' video) playing tennis against a samurai. It grew from there," Koenig tells Spinner.
Sound-wise, the song is one of Vampire Weekend's more straight-ahead pop tunes, but with driving, delicious percussion. "Our goal has always been to give the songs what they need," Koenig says. "Sometime our songs need marimbas or AutoTune, and sometimes they just need a big beat."
Koenig and Co. worked with the video's directors, the Malloy Brothers (Sheryl Crow, Oasis, the White Stripes, Jonas Brothers) on the casting, but they already had some good ideas of who should appear in this vignette. "I was pretty surprised it all worked out," admits Koenig. "We always thought RZA would be perfect. We'd been in touch with Lil Jon since the first album. He heard the reference on 'Oxford Comma' and sent us some cases of Crunk Juice. Joe Jonas and Jake Gyllenhaal were both excellent -- lot of improvisation and some surprisingly powerful serves." Despite that, it's Jenny who eventually wins the day.
"'Giving Up the Gun' just means turning your back on aggression and selfishness," Koenig explains of the song's concept. "The heroine of the video isn't an amazing tennis player, but she has heart. She stays calm despite the unfairness of it all." Check out the exclusive premiere below.