Director Colin Tilley explains how Chance's Justin Bieber collabo got him the acting gig.
On the set of Justin Bieber's "Confident" music video, when Colin Tilley had his first conversation with Chance the Rapper, the acclaimed music video director was hit with a premonition. "I was like, 'There's something really special about this dude,'" Tilley recalls. "He's not who you would imagine. He's so much beyond that." To that end, a few weeks later, when Tilley was delivered the script for the short film Mr. Happy, he had no doubt in his mind his new friend (with whom he had exchanged numbers on set) was the perfect fit to play the film's lead character.
"I just couldn't help but seeing Chance's face playing this character," Tilley, who at 26 has directed countless high-profile music videos including Nicki Minaj's "Anaconda," Chris Brown's "Look At Me Now" and Lil Wayne's "John." Of his move to cast Chance as the depressed, suicidal young adult at the center of his provocative debut film, Tilley says, "In my gut, I knew he was the right decision."
Despite having never acted professionally, when called upon by Tilley, Chance was eager to step in front of the camera. "I immediately texted him after reading the script like, 'I'm all the way in,'" Chance tells Billboard. "I just felt super-connected to the character. The thing I connected to with it is this misguided search for true happiness."