The star and co-creator of the musical rom-com takes us underneath the top-heavy ditty
Only on the musical rom-com Crazy Ex-Girlfriend can a ditty about double D’s be deliberately untitillating. “I like [my sexy songs] to have boner-killer moments,” jokes co-creator and star Rachel Bloom. “It was really important to me that this song would not come off as, ‘Look at me and my big boobs! I’m so sexy, oooh!’ I wanted it to invite women in.” It helps that the catchy tune — an ode to the perils of being top-heavy — had a strictly scientific inspiration: In high school, Bloom stumbled upon a video of a breast reduction surgery she couldn’t shake. “They cut open the boob, and I was just really struck by how it’s just fat,” she says.
So when the show tackled the literally weighty topic in its March 29 episode, Bloom made sure to include unsexy comparisons and painful choreography. In fact, filming the music video for “Heavy Boobs” was backbreaking work, as Bloom and her backup dancers swung their chests to the beat. “I felt so bad,” she admits. “I bought the dancers massages afterward.”
Here’s how Bloom shaped up the lyrics to her filthy, funny earworm about her “pair of monsters.”
Celestial orbs have tons in common with, well, human ones — or so Bloom thought after an eighth-grade science class. “I was fascinated by white dwarf stars. They’re so dense with material,” she says. “When my boobs were getting big, I was like, ‘These are dense! Like a dying star!’ “
A few years ago, Bloom’s own double D’s caused aches that discouraged her from dancing — a feeling she expresses through the violence in this lyric. “My boobs were a burden, because when they were painful, nothing would get done,” Bloom says. “It didn’t feel like my body.”
Thank Bette Midler for this one: On her short-lived sitcom Bette, characters joked about testing breast perkiness by putting a pencil under them, a scene that captivated the middle-school-aged Bloom. “Years later, I realized I could hold, like, my iPhone under my boob,” she marvels. The bridge became Bloom’s first joke written for the song, and the list came from Bloom experimenting with her own torso. “When I was home, I took off my shirt and walked around my office and saw what I could actually put under my boobs,” she says, adding that she managed to hold a paperback copy of Catcher in the Rye. (Because production couldn’t get the rights to the novel, Bloom swapped in Arabian Nights and Wuthering Heights.)
When Bloom realized her “dying star” quip might not make sense to anyone other than, say, astronomers, she added another spoken-word bridge. The mini-lecture further helped the song spoof its inspiration: Beyoncé’s “Diva,” which similarly blends singing and rapping.
If Bloom had the time (and, frankly, budget), she would have used more inventive music-video choreography for this rhyme. “Originally, [we wanted to show] people with fishing poles literally catching boobs like fish,” she says with a laugh.
How to end a song that deflates the idea of breast sexiness? Note why they exist at all. “I didn’t want to fixate on what boobs are for,” says Bloom, shown above with those famed sacks of yellow fat. “But I wanted to point out that they’re, like, baby faucets.” Aaaand we’ve achieved boner-killer!
Crazy Ex-Girlfriend airs Mondays at 9 p.m. ET on The CW.
A version of this story originally appeared in Entertainment Weekly issue #1410, on newsstands Friday or available here.