Take five supermodels, four legendary musicians, one internationally acclaimed director and a flurry of stylists and make-up artists and the result is a mesmerising promo video for Duran Duran’s new single, Girl Panic!.
HELLO! has been granted exclusive behind-the-scenes access at the making of the film, which was shot in London’s Savoy hotel and features the beautiful quintet taking on the roles of the British bandmates. “It was the best job I’ve ever done,” Yasmin Le Bon tells HELLO!. “It really was as mad as it looks – we rocked out the Savoy.”
In the tongue-in-cheek sequence, Naomi Campbell, 41, plays Simon Le Bon, Cindy Crawford, 45, is John Taylor, Helena Christensen, 42, is drummer Roger Taylor, Eva Herzigova, 39, is Nick Rhodes, and 47-year-old Yasmin plays “the guitarist”.
“Being with the girls was just like the old days,” says Yasmin, who has never appeared in a Duran Duran video before, despite being married to lead singer Simon for 25 years. “It’s an excuse for a social, really.”
‘FLASHES OF GENIUS’
The video was Nick’s brainchild. “Nick has flashes of absolute genius from time to time and this was one of them,” Simon tells HELLO!. “We just had to keep it so quiet because we didn’t want the rest of the world to nick the idea.”
They then had the organisational challenge of getting five busy modelstogether for a two-day shoot. All five said yes “as soon as they heard the idea”, says Simon.
“And we went through in our fantasies deciding which one of us they should play,” he grins. “From the start, we thought that Naomi should play me. She has just got that frontman kind of thing.
“She’s in the limelight herself, she knows what it’s like to be on stage and she has been around bands. She has been around us and U2 all her life really.”
How did Simon find working with his wife? “She was very easy and very professional,” he smiles.
“She is actually a very, very good guitarist. She learnt at school but I’ve shown her a few chord changes and things in the past.”
Meanwhile, the Duran Duran men play cameo roles in the film. Simon, 53, is a waiter, John, 51, a chauffeur, Nick, 49, plays a bellboy and Roger, 51, is a lift attendant.
There was a slight hitch when a hotel lift containing Roger, Cindy and Yasmin got stuck for 20 minutes during filming. “Roger didn’t tell me what went on in there,” deadpans Simon.
The musicians also acted as interviewers to their super-glamorous counterparts, with Eva Herzigova and Helena Christensen showing impressive comic timing with their responses. “Eva is great,” says Simon. “It really opened my eyes to a different side of her.”
Helena also had to act drunk. “She wasn’t actually drunk but I have seen her in that state,” says Simon. “She is a fantastic girl. She really does know the rock’n’roll lifestyle and she was just so funny.”
Adds Yasmin: “Us models were actually more rock’n’roll than the band at one time.”
“Oh, she would say that, wouldn’t she,” laughs Simon before adding: “I’ve got a lot of respect for them [the models]. I love how hard they work and how hard they can party as well, actually.
“They all really got into the spirit of the shoot and we are so grateful to them.”
The rarity value of having this many supermodels in one room did not escape Simon.
“They all had a really great time,” he says. “It wouldn’t have happened without Yasmin and other key people including our manager Wendy Laister.
“Also Jonus Akerlund,” he says, referring to the director, who has worked on videos such as Lady Gaga’s Telephone. “We had to have a name like that to get all the girls to realise this is serious business.”
The short film features a scene in which “Simon” (Naomi) wakes up in a suite in The Savoy, which has been made up to look as if a raucous party had happened the night before.
“It was elegantly trashed,” says Simon, adding that he’s very grateful to The Savoy for “not being precious”.
He says that this scene was his personal highlight. “I walked into that room and the girls were all in various states of disarray with champagne bottles everywhere. I thought, ‘Yeah, this is what it’s supposed to be like…’”