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Selena Gomez's Hands to Myself video: director talks Madonna inspiration

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Multi-hyphenate entertainer Selena Gomez shared the music video for her flirty Revival single “Hands to Myself” on Monday, and it made good on the sultriness its preceding Beats ad promised. The basic premise is that the 23-year-old is obsessed with movie star Christopher Mason (played by model Christopher Mason). She breaks into his home, scantily clad, rummages through his Fifty Shades of Grey-style boudoir, dances around in his clothes, and takes a bath—which is when he arrives home and calls the police. And then there’s that twist…

To get the meaning behind it all, EW talked with video director Alek Keshishian, the man behind the famous 1991 tour documentary Madonna: Truth or DareIt was that documentary that prompted Gomez to recruit Keshishian for the “Hands to Myself” video. And while traces of the film aren’t readily apparent here, his ability to add layers to things people prefer to view simply — ahem, say, celebrities — comes across clearly. “I always like to find a different way of seeing a celebrity,” he says. “[And] Selena’s head was in the same place.” 

It comes off in his attention to detail, too. Take, for instance, the fact that Gomez wears a diamond ring during her visit to Mason’s home. “In my experience, a lot of these stalkers think that they’re married to that person,” he says. And while more than one person has drawn dotted lines between the closet featured here and that of one Mr. Christian Grey, Keshishian promises that film wasn’t an influence. With a laugh he admits, “I’ve never seen Fifty Shades of Grey. I just thought it was a way to quickly make it seem like it was somebody who had money and success.” 

Gomez and the director had met several times before socially, but this was their first time working together — and it seems as though Keshishian wouldn’t mind doing so again. “She’s such a pro. You’re working with somebody who knows how to perform to camera and for camera. We would be lighting with a stand-in and then she would come in and it would be a completely live shot with her. She’s so good at it.” 

Gomez’ Revival Tour kicks off May 6, 2016 in Las Vegas. 

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