Ariana Grande's "Thank U, Next" video is also a tribute to a few of the aughties' classic female-led comedies, featuring appearances from Legally Blonde's Jennifer Coolidge and Mean Girls' Jonathan Bennett. The new piece of cinema nearly got one more cameo, according to the video director Hannah Lux Davis.
"We tried to get the real Warner, [Matthew Davis], from LegallyBlonde, but he wasn’t available. He was shooting in Atlanta,” Davis said of the video shoot in an interview with Entertainment Weekly. “We were all really bummed! We wanted to get him, we reached out, and he was down, but he just wasn’t available.”
Davis also revealed the way that she brainstormed the video with Grande.
“She played me the song and I was like, ‘Holy sh-t, you really went there, and you used names in a way that turns everything into a positive,’ which was a cool spin on redefining a breakup song,” Davis said. “I [knew] the video had to be tongue-in-cheek because the song is so playful at the same time.”
The director was struck by the idea of women who came out on the positive end of breakups and decided to rework movies that she and Grande loved.
"These other movies that we grew up with came to the surface from this era and were in the same vein, all about girls who’d gone through breakups, but came out on top,” Davis told the magazine. “We both grew up on these movies, as did a lot of people in our generation, so to create something nostalgic was a goal, but we also wanted to make it personal to her.”
While they couldn't land Matthew Davis, fans gobbled up the long-awaited video, which broke YouTube's record for first-day streams.