Rick Astley’s “Never Gonna Give You Up” has perhaps the most famous music video ever, or at least the most famed of the internet era thanks to the famous bait-and-switch “Rickroll” prank. The gag, which involves sharing links that unexpectedly lead to the video, has led to the 1987 visual being one of the most-viewed music videos in YouTube history. Simon West, the video’s director, says that even he’s been Rickrolled and he’s not a fan.
In an interview with Metro, West — whose directorial credits also include movies like Con Air, Lara Croft: Tomb Raider, Black Hawk Down, and The Expendables 2 — noted it’s happened to him “three or four times.” He said, “People are sensitive to it [but] people who know me really well know that I’m not gonna go ballistic. But when it happens, it’s the worst thing! You think they’re gonna send you a cool video about surfing or something and up it comes.”
West also said that he didn’t think much of the quickly and cheaply made video at the time, but that it “haunted” him both after the song’s release and after its internet-fueled resurgence:
“It was one of those things that haunts you! But it didn’t haunt me for many years afterwards. It was one of those shoots that was very cheap, very quick, did it one night. Rick was lovely, but I thought I’d done much bigger and more impressive stuff than that. But of course it’s the one that goes to No. 1 across the world. I’d be shooting in Australia and it would come up. I’d go to Canada, and the thing just follows you around. And then it dies down for 20 or 30 years, and then Rickrolling comes around, and the damn thing comes back again! And starts haunting you again.”
Check out the full interview here.