Josh and Benny Safdie’s new movie Uncut Gems is a critical hit, and that’s largely thanks in part to the widely praised performance of star Adam Sandler. Viewers may actually have Jay-Z to thank for that, as his video for the 2017 song “Marcy Me” is apparently part of what helped bring Sandler on board to be in the movie.
Aside from feature films, the Safdie brothers have also directed some music videos, including the “Marcy Me” clip. The Safdies spoke with Pitchfork recently, and they said that while they were recruiting Sandler to star in the movie, the video made a big impression on the actor, and helped convince him to accept the starring role in the film. Josh said, “He really emotionally responded to it. It only helped in that courtship.” Additionally, the video was the first time the brothers worked with Oscar-nominated cinematographer Darius Khondji, who shot Uncut Gems.
Josh also said shooting the video was a difficult and wild time, but it led to a product he looks back on with pride: “Those were the hardest, most chaotic shooting conditions I’ve ever been a part of. I’m very proud of that video.”
This musical element to the origin of Uncut Gems is appropriate, considering that the movie has multiple other connections to the music world: The Weeknd has a role in the movie, and the score was composed by Daniel Lopatin, who is better known as Oneohtrix Point Never.
Read our interview with Josh and Benny Safdie here, and watch the “Marcy Me” video below.