Ever since Eminem and Rihanna teased their music video for “Love The Way You Lie” with a couple shots from the set, and then taunted by performing the song together during RiRi’s gig at L.A.’s Staples Center a couple weeks back, we’ve known this one was going to be fire. Wipe the smoke from your eyes and watch the powerful Joseph Kahn-directed epic—which co-stars Megan Fox and Dominic Monaghan—after the jump.
Eminem feat. Rihanna — “Love The Way You Lie”
In the dramatic clip, Megan and Dominic play a couple who alternate between violently fighting with one another and briefly making up (by making out). Fox literally plays with fire in the video, which follows their relationship as it hurtles toward tragedy, flames spreading all the while. It’s not a huge leap to see the fire as a representation of the far-reaching pain triggered by domestic abuse, or of the cycle of violence itself.
“Joseph and I worked pretty closely together to make sure we got this right,” says Eminem, who is up for eight MTV VMAs (including Video Of The Year for “Not Afraid”) in a release about the clip. “Trying to make this tough subject work visually is a challenge. It was great to have Rihanna, Megan and Dominic on board for this. They really brought it and made this video super-powerful.”
MTV notes that Rihanna told Access Hollywood that recording “Love The Way You Lie,” which deals with abuse within a relationship, was something that she “needed” to do.
“It’s something that, you know, [Eminem and I have] both experienced, you know, on different sides, different ends of the table,” she said. “It just was authentic. It was real. It was believable for us to do a record like that, but it was also something that needed to be done, and the way he did it was so clever. He pretty much just broke down the cycle of domestic violence, and it’s something that a lot people don’t have a lot of insight on, so this song is a really, really powerful song, and it touches a lot of people.”
The vid’s star, Dominic Monaghan tells MTV that the relationship depicted between he and Megan Fox in the video is based on Eminem and his ex-wife Kim. Says Monaghan:
“I think we tried as hard as we could to not glorify the violence, to try and explain that this was a relationship that is by no means ideal and a relationship that probably should have ended a lot sooner than it did,” Monaghan told MTV News. “The concept of ‘Love the Way You Lie’ was essentially a look at the relationship that Eminem was in with his wife, Kim, so I kind of felt like I was playing Eminem a little bit, and Megan Fox was kind of playing Kim.”
And if the sole purpose of music videos is the promotion of singles and albums, Em really didn’t need to bother (though we’re glad he did). This week “Love The Way You Lie” notched a third week at #1 on the Billboard Hot 1oo chart, while Recovery has racked up sales of nearly two million copies since its release in June. The album also relinquished its perch at #1 on Billboard‘s Top 200 this week after a five-week stay.
What do you think of Rihanna and Em’s collab? Best video of 2010, or were you expecting more?