In a new four-minute behind-the-scenes video, Benny Blanco pulls back the curtain on the shoot for Justin Bieber’s emotional “Lonely” video. The clip opens with Blanco explaining what’s going on from the set of the visual, with Bieber busy playing socially distanced, masked table tennis in the background.
“It’s COVID-time, we’re wearing masks, you made me take this off for the thing, I feel a little threatened, I don’t feel great,” Blanco says to the camera as he slides his face covering back on and the strains of the broody ballad swell up over images of Blanco and Bieber getting competitive over their game of ping-pong in the lobby of a lush theater.
The scene keeps returning to child star Jacob Tremblay staring into the mirror in the guise of My World-era Bieber, taking us inside the production of the moving video with the expected shots of cameras rolling on dollies, Bieber conferring with the director and Tremblay checking out his wardrobe and rehearsing his dance moves.
Bieber’s wife Hailey Baldwin pops into the set to check out the shoot, which includes outtake footage of Bieber and Blanco rocking giant, extra-long prosthetic arms to hug each other. At one point, Bieber takes a seat all by himself in the middle of the theater as he watches Tremblay portray him as a young man, providing the perfect visual for the song’s heart-rending tale of feeling all alone in the middle of a crowded room.
Bieber and Tremblay share a sweet hug as the shoot wraps and then the singer addresses the camera, saying, “It’s honestly so cool to see a younger version of myself played by no other than Jacob Tremblay, who is one of my favorite young actors. It’s just so cool to see the perspective of how I felt when I was that age and not knowing what was to come.” The star says it’s been “super emotional” to watch Tremblay transform into Baby Bieber.
Blanco joined Bieber when he performed the song on Saturday Night Live over the weekend, where he also ran through his single “Holy.”
Watch the “Lonely” BTS video below.