Melina Matsoukas, director of Rihanna’s “We Found Love” and many other music videos by famous women, recently sat down with Pitchfork to talk about her and Ri’s much-discussed collaboration. There were a number of interesting finds—Melina talks about how one glance Rihanna made in the “Man Down” video convinced her of Ri’s acting chops, and about how the crew was assailed at one of the shooting locations (“People started throwing bottles from the top of the building. I was like, ‘Run!’”)—but most of the discussion hinged around Rihanna’s video co-star, boxer Dudley O’Shaugnussey.
Melina says that the attraction and chemistry between Rihanna and O’Shaugnussey was obvious, and that they were so comfortable together that they did a good deal of improvising on the set (“I looked away and I hear a smack. I’m like, ‘Did he just smack her ass? No one told him to do that’). Most interestingly, Melina says that the similarity between O’Shaugnussey’s character and pop star Chris Brown—another abusive one-time boyfriend of Rihanna’s, who had his hair dyed the same peroxide blonde earlier this year—was entirely incidental.
The intention is not for it to be Chris or anything related to that relationship. We all have gone through the kind of tumultuous relationship shown in the video. I didn’t even know that Chris Brown is blond right now. This dude was already blond. It’s not like I told him to dye his hair. He doesn’t even really look like Chris Brown to me.
Well, fine, fair enough, but somewhere along the line as this video was being made, somebody must have piped up to point out the jarring similarity, right? You don’t see a lot of dudes rocking the peroxide blonde look these days, for this guy to have the look at the same time as the most famous person Rihanna’s ever been involved with and for no one to step in and say “Well, OK, but just so you know…” We’ll have to ask Ri herself someday to truly get to the bottom of this.