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Jonas Akerlund's Madonna collaborations: reflections on the greatest

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Yui Mok/PA/AP Photo

Director Jonas Akerlund has worked with Madonna on some of her most iconic music videos, bringing “Ray of Light,” “American Life” and “Music” to life. After he ​shared behind-the-scenes stories from her most recent video, “Bitch I’m Madonna,” Akerlund gave EW the inside scoop on what it was like to put together the rest of their greatest collaborations. 

“Ray of Light”

This was the first music video Madonna and Akerlund worked on together nearly 20 years ago, and he says at that time, he still didn’t know how to behave around artists of her stature. “I decided to be myself and talk about the job as I see it and hopefully we hit it off,” he says. “It was a different attitude and we started to shoot it in Sweden. We shot a few days before I met her and that idea was so spread out. Both of us felt we had something special. We just worked together and I thought that was it. I went back to Sweden with a VHS tape showing them, ‘That’s cool!’ and then we moved on.”

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