January 31, 2005 at 05:00 AM EST

If you’re like us, the cold weather has driven you to watch way too much MTV. As a public service, we sought out the answers to some music-video head-scratchers that may be bugging you as much as they did us.

How did Less Than Perfect actor Eric Roberts wind up playing the brothel owner in the Killers’ ”Mr. Brightside”?

The clip’s casting director, Renita Whited, who had cast Roberts in the 2003 film Spun, thought he’d make a great villain for the video. The actor had never heard of the band, but he became a fan. ”They’re adorable,” he says, though he has eyes for singer Brandon Flowers in particular. ”I love the length — kind of short — of Brandon’s pants, and the childlike way he walks. And the song has grown on me to the point where I absolutely love it.”

Snow Patrol’s ”Run” video reminds us of Coldplay. A lot. Are we Imagining this?

Depends on who you ask. ”Run” boasts the same soft-loud guitars and sensitive crooning that made Chris Martin & Co. a Stateside phenomenon, and to our eyes, the clip appears to borrow from Coldplay’s ”The Scientist” (a car accident on a desolate road) and ”Yellow” (a mid-torso shot of the lead singer walking in an L.L. Bean-like coat). But Snow Patrol frontman Gary Lightbody begs to differ. ”’Run’ is a big, anthemic song,” he says. ”It’s very emotional, and we were going for a certain tone in the video. I think it kind of belittles it to write it off as a Coldplay copy. We know the Coldplay guys, and they don’t think we sound alike either.”

Is it just us, or does the video for My Chemical Romance’s ”I’m Not Okay (I Promise)” seem suspiciously similar to Wes Anderson’s 1998 movie Rushmore?

”Absolutely. You don’t have to be bashful about me biting on Rushmore,” says director Marc Webb of the clip, which features offbeat characters in a prep-school setting. ”Anytime you put a kid in a blazer and compose Images like that, people are going to think Rushmore.” The video parodies teen-comedy movie trailers so successfully that production companies are approaching Webb about making a full-length film based on it.

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