Jokes aside, while it’s a catchy pop tune, watching stellar actors like Jon Hamm, Ellen Page, Don Cheadle, and Chloe Sevigny say them aloud actually makes you believe that there’s some substance behind the song — sort of.
The video footage was captured and put together by Vanity Fair at the magazine’s booth at Sundance. Admittedly, it’s an homage to W Magazine’s version of Drake’s Hotline Bling from last December (see it below), which featured actors like Bryan Cranston, Brie Larson, Kristen Wigg, and Amy Schumer reciting lyrics from that tune. But while W’s version was more melodic in nature, Vanity Fair’s batch of actors delved into the deep root of the Biebs’ resonating lyrics like “let me redeem, oh, redeem myself tonight” and “you know there is no innocent one in this game for two.”
In the video we see plenty of brilliant moments, including a traumatized John Krasinki playing the role of a sad man begging for forgiveness. “You know I try, but I don’t do too well with apologies,” he reads while choking back his tears.
Jon Hamm, meanwhile, takes a more casual approach, clearly not quite as emotional as the distraught character Krasinski plays — he seems to be trying to figure out what’s going on the whole time, actually. Maybe the character is emotionally-unavailable?
Natasha Lyonne, seems to be trying not to crack up while doing her apologizing. By contrast, Chloe Sevigny appears to be more confident in the outcome of her attempt to reconcile with the faceless, nameless ex. The best part was saved for Silicon Valley‘s Thomas Middleditch, who busts out a brilliantly thick, Michael Caine-style British accent. Some lyrics are just better sung. Watch to the end to see comedian and director Judd Apatow, who apparently believes the song has more angry undertones than we may think.
Other actors and musicians featured in the roster of 29 include Nick Jonas, John Legend, Don Cheadle, Chelsea Handler, Armie Hammer, Octavia Spencer, and Maya Rudolph, among many others. It’s definitely worth a look for some laughs.