Drake’s hit song “Hotline Bling” has been breaking the internet since it’s release. The ridiculousness of his lyrics as well as his snazzy dance moves, which have become meme and gif gold, have kept this song at the top of pop culture for a while. Recently, 13 celebrities took the lyrics of this seminal hit and did dramatic readings. And the result was magic.
This video, which was produced by W Magazine, is so hilariously ridiculous. Opening with a shot of Bryan Cranston looking dead serious at the camera, introducing “Hotline Bling” you know that it’s only going to go up from there.
There are a bevy of A-List celebrities who appear in this short, and often the more famous they are, the more hilarious their interpretation of Drake’s hit is. While a few of the lesser-known celebrities attempted to sing along to “Hotline Bling” the way that Drake originally performed it, it’s the more unique interpretations that brought on the larger laughs. Indeed, the first few clips started rather one-note, until Kristin Wiig brought down the mood, looking seriously into the camera, as if it were her former lover.
Hilarity only continues as Seth Rogen and Amy Schumer seem to be doing a type of duet in their line readings. Schumer especially takes moments to pause and look accusatory at her imaginary scene partner after reciting how they have “a reputation for yourself now”. While Rogen was definitely taking this “scene” seriously, he still managed to make me laugh at how gobsmacked he acted at his partner’s infidelity.
I will say that Kristin Wiig was one of my favorite performers in this clip. She read the lyrics as a very grounded and emotionally available scene. Wiig has clearly been learning a lot since her transition to dramas like The Martian and The Skeleton Twins. Of course, her earnesty while reading Drake lyrics resulted in pure comedy.
Things get almost terrifying with Bryan Cranston’s participation. Using the gravely lower register of his vocal range, and channeling a Heisenberg-like stillness, he makes it clear that he’s still the one that knocks, he’s still the danger. Honestly if you weren’t familiar with Drake’s song, you might be ready to hand Cranston over another Primetime Emmy for his menacing line reading. If you need more proof, make sure you watch till the last moment because his final line gave me goosebumps.
Personally, I think that W Magazine should make this into a series. They managed to arrange an all-star cast, and there are plenty of ridiculous songs on the radio that would lend itself well to a video of this nature. Perhaps a dramatic reading of Adele’s “Hello” or Fetty Wap’s “679”? Just putting it out there.
Corey was born and raised in New Jersey. Double majored in theater and literature during undergrad. After working in administrative theater for a year in New York, he started as the Weekend Editor at CinemaBend. He's since been able to work himself up to reviews, phoners, and press junkets-- and is now able to appear on camera with some of his famous actors... just not as he would have predicted as a kid.
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