EntertainmentJillian Bell talks about her directorial debut (EXCLUSIVE)

Jillian Bell talks about her directorial debut (EXCLUSIVE)


Jillian Bell is quickly working her way to comedy icon status. She began her career with a bang, playing the namesake “Jillian Belk” on Comedy Central’s hit series. Workaholics. Shortly after, she landed her first leading role in a feature film with Brittany runs a marathon. This film allowed Jillian to showcase her comedy and dramatic talent. It premiered at the Sundance Film Festival and was picked up by Amazon Studios for release. However, although she loved acting, Jillian had another role in mind, one that would put her behind the camera.

If I didn’t love you

Jillian is a fan of musician Ben Abraham. And why wouldn’t she be? His songs are sincere and his voice is beautiful. A perfect combination for a folk singer capable of delivering soft and contagious music.

“His voice reminds me of a young Michael Bublé, and I love it.” –Jillian Bell

It was therefore obvious when she had the opportunity to direct the music video for Ben’s love ballad. If I didn’t love you. She was everything in. Jillian presented two ideas for the video. The first was a standard music video featuring images of romance and gorgeous scenery; a “by the books” version of romantic music. The other was anything but. Jillian came up with a music video whose tone contrasted with the melodic nature of the song and took viewers through a story that was both hilarious and violently shocking. She introduced them both and Ben Abraham was quick to vote.

“He loved her. He said ‘That one!’ He wanted to be funny.- Jillian Bell

With the singer and songwriter fully supporting her, Jillian moved forward with a music video that is, quite honestly, unique in every way. In the video, a musician, played by Ben Abraham as he sings If I didn’t love youbegins to stalk and torment a happy couple, driving them to extreme measures to escape.

Jillian Bell talks about her directorial debut (exclusive) - FandomWire
Left to right: Charlie Day, Ben Abraham, Mary Elizabeth Ellis in the Jillian Bell directed ‘If I Didn’t Love You.’

The casting

The casting of the music video would be vital. It was, after all, a video with a story and characters. These characters had to be believable. Ben would, of course, be playing himself (or at least a version of himself). But who exactly would play the happy couple forced into violence was still up in the air.

“I wanted it to be a real couple. And I immediately thought of them (Charlie Day and Mary Elizabeth Ellis) because I knew them. And I had worked with both of them. – Jillian Bell

Charlie Day and Mary Elizabeth Ellis are iconic comedians in their own right. Best known for their roles in the series It’s always sunny philadelphia cream, the two accepted and turned out to be perfect for the roles. Their commitment to the pieces, even as the story descends into ridiculous levels of madness, helps sell it. One line in particular, uttered with hilarious intensity by Charlie Day, stands out: “Dance… He wants us to dance.

Jillian Bell talks about her directorial debut (exclusive) - FandomWire
Left to right: Mary Elizabeth Ellis, Charlie Day, Ben Abraham in the Jillian Bell directed ‘If I Didn’t Love You.’

Watch the clip, directed by Jillian Bell, here: ‘If I Didn’t Love You’ by Ben Abraham

The message behind the music video

Near the end of the video, the couple at the center of the story violently attack and (apparently kill) their singing stalker. It leans into the rage and violence of the moment with a flurry of punches, kicks and plenty of blood spatter. Only for Ben to magically reappear, bloodstained and still singing, as the pair attempt to flee.

It’s not until the couple tips the musician for his song that the madness subsides. Earlier in the video, when things seemed happy and normal, the couple met the musician playing his song in the park. They stop for a moment to listen before continuing their day. So what’s the message? Well, that seems pretty clear and if you ask Jillian, she’ll tell you bluntly.

“Paying for art. Don’t just pass. –Jillian Bell

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Eric Patrick
Eric Patrick
Eric Patrick is currently a freelancer who writes for several magazines and is an economy and finance correspondent at The Nuherald. He has been working in this field for around ten years and has gained immense popularity during that time. He received a Master's degree in philosophy. During his working career, he gained much popularity as a writer resulting in receiving many great honors and awards. He has written for a wide range of leading media outlets on various entertainment topics.


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