Holden Nowell, who played Jepsen’s handyman crush in the now-iconic clip, is criticizing the attention that “Call Me Maybe” brought him ― especially since he was put off by his character turning out to be gay. (Watch the full video above.)
“The fact that they had to make me gay at the end of the video … it was all very … I didn’t like being known as the gay guy in the ‘Call Me Maybe’ video. It was just something I wasn’t used to,” Nowell told iHeartRadio Canada in an interview published Thursday.
A former model, Nowell said the video’s original storyline called for his character to kiss Jepsen’s male guitar player and that he suggested the conclusion as it now appears, with him handing the musician his phone number instead.
“I was like, ‘I’m going to be completely honest with you. I’m not going to kiss a guy, especially for $500.’ I said, ‘I really don’t think I’m comfortable kissing a guy for a music video,’” he said.
He continued, “I said, ‘You know what? What if instead of me kissing a guy at the end of the video, what if I just give a guy my number or something like that?’”
These days, the 29-year-old is making music of his own under the rap moniker SixXx’Tre. On Wednesday, he released his debut album, “Fade II Black,” which he described as “my heart and soul on record.”
“I’m taking it back to the essence of hip hop and I’m telling a story, my real life story,” he said. “This is going to be the most groundbreaking iconic hip hop album since probably [Eminem’s] ‘The Marshall Mathers LP.’”
Nowell doesn’t seem overly pleased with the story. He posted a screenshot of the iHeartRadio Canada piece to his Instagram account shortly after it was published Thursday and blasted the article’s content, claiming it made him out to be “narcissistic, bitter” and like a “slanderous, gay bashing ... conspiracy theorist.”
Nowell did not respond to a HuffPost request for comment.