14 Things You Didn't Know About Backstreet Boys' "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" Music Video
If you're like me, you may have a certain music video more times than you'd care to admit. Even so, there are still a whole lot of facts about Backstreet Boys' "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" music video you might not know. Even if you're a super fan who thinks you know all that there is to know about the memorable vid, the truth is it's been 20 years since Backstreet Boys' first album was released, and 20 years since "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)," made fans all fall in love with the band all over again — so at the very least, you might need a refresher course on the facts of this unforgettable video.
When "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" was released in 1997 the music video was an utter revelation that catapulted the band to immediate screaming-fan levels of stardom. Though the Backstreet Boys were already huge in Europe at the time, "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" was their first colossal US hit, and the video had a lot to do with that. It was full of a fun, tongue-in-cheek charm.
It combined a delirious horror parody with the joys of cute boys, and an easily imitated dance routine that we could all copy with our friends at home. In short, "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" was, and remains to be — nothing short of perfect. Here are 14 facts about the video that might make you love it even more.
1. The Actor Playing The Band's Bus Driver Is An Iconic Star
Antonio Fargas, who's better known for his legendary role as Huggy Bear in the original Starsky And Hutch, played the band's bus driver (who turns into that Frankenstein's Monster style character at the end of the video). Fargas also appeared in the 1999 video for Backstreet Boys' "Larger Than Life," as a robot.
2. The Spooky Mansion Bears A Striking Amount Of Similarities To Whipstaff Manor From 'Casper'
From the exterior painted mansion shot that starts the video to it's Antoni Gaudi style interiors — and even the spiral pattern on the floor of the main hall — the aesthetic similarities between "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" and Casper are pretty undeniable. However, though fans have long speculated that they were, at least partially, filmed on the same set, that fact has never been officially confirmed by the band or director. Considering the amount of similarities, however, it feels safe to assume that "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" may have used some props from Casper, or at the very least, was simply inspired by the look of the 1995 movie. Whatever the truth is, the aesthetic definitely worked for the video.
3. Director Joseph-Kahn Is Responsible For A Lot Of Iconic Music Videos
As well as directing and co-writing the 2011 cult horror movie, Detention, Kahn is also responsible for a number of Taylor Swift's iconic videos from 1989 including "Bad Blood," "Blank Space," "Wildest Dreams," and "Out Of The Woods." As well as being a total Swiftie, Kahn's incredible contribution to music videos also includes modern classics such as Britney Spears' "Toxic," and Lady Gaga's "Lovegame," among many others. However, "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)" was his first, and it absolutely helped to launched his career.
4. Each Backstreet Boy Takes The Form Of A Classic Universal Monster
OK kids, listen up. Because, when it comes to horror, the Universal Monsters were the OG's of Hollywood spooks... which is perhaps also why the Universal Monsters movies are being rebooted as the Dark Universe right now. The Backstreet Boys clearly knew that all the way back in 1997, and they put their own modern twists on five of those iconic monsters; Dracula (Howie), The Wolfman (Brian), Phantom Of The Opera (AJ), Dr Jekyll And Mr Jyde (Kevin), and The Mummy (Nick).
5. The Makeup Effects Supervisor Had Also Done Work On 'Hellraiser III' & 'Candyman'
Joseph Schultz lent his special effects talents to both movies at the start of his career in the early '90s. So it makes sense that his specific skill set also lent itself quite well to transforming the Backstreet Boys so authentically into the monsters they became.
6. Brian's Makeup Application Was The Most Complex
According to the All Access documentary about the making of the video, Brian's make-up took five and a half hours to create. By comparison, Nick's only took two hours. So yeah, Brian really took one for the team there.
7. Howie's Love Interest Is Played By Supermodel Josie Moran
Who, incidentally, would go on to play one of Dracula's brides, Marishka, in the 2004 movie, Van Helsing.
8. Howie's Dracula Look Was Intentionally Less 'Classic'
During the video's All Access documentary, Kahn revealed that he wanted Howie's Dracula look to be less traditional and "more like the vampire Lestat," from Interview With The Vampire (the movie adaptation of which was released in 1994). However, his style also resembles that of the 1992 adaptation of the character in Bram Stoker's Dracula, as portrayed by Gary Oldham.
9. Nick Originally Wanted To Be The Creature From The Black Lagoon
It's unclear why Nick changed his mind about being the Creature From The Black Lagoon, as he mentions in the All Access video, but what is clear is that Nick being The Mummy was a much better option. Like, just look at the Creature From The Black Lagoon and try to imagine your 9 year-old self thinking it was cute. You can't.
10. A.J.'s Monster Choice Was A Musical One
As perhaps the only Universal Monster to have spawned a hit musical, The Phantom Of The Opera pleases fans of horror and musical theatre alike. According to Kevin, this fact made the character an obvious choice for AJ due to his "love for musical theatre."
11. Nick Had A Really Tough Time With His Scenes
According to Kahn during a Billboard interview celebrating the 20th anniversary of the song and video, Nick struggled with the stressful shoot, and was even almost brought to tears during it. Kahn said:
I remember Nick almost crying because he had stayed up all night, and was up for 36 hours. It was so stressful for him. I think I almost gave him a nervous breakdown with that mummy shot, because he was the last guy to be filmed and he was just being tortured… the poor guy! He was the youngest too, so it was a lot.
Still, considering how well the end result turned out, you'd never be able to tell that was the case.
12. The Record Company Had Their Doubts About The Video
Considering how iconic the video remains to be 20 years later, it feels preposterous to even imagine the Backsteet Boys' record label dragging their heels over the overall idea of it. However, in an interview with MTV, Nick revealed that their record company wasn't immediately on board with the idea for the music video of "Everybody (Backstreet's Back)". Nick said:
It was kind of funny, because we had talked to the record company about it, and at first they were like, 'Oh, I don't know,' and 'Well, we'll talk about it later,' and all this kind of stuff. And we had this idea for the video in our heads. It took a while, but we eventually got them to do it. Then [the record company] came back later and thanked us because it turned out to be such a great video.
Amen to that.
13. The Band Was Almost Completely Responsible For The Video's Concept
According to the All Access documentary, the band came up with the idea collectively while on a plane fight together. With no support from their label regarding it, the Backstreet Boys also received no further creative input about the concept of the video. As Kahn himself tells it in the documentary, "this is the Backstreet Boys own expression." Which makes the video just that little bit more special, right?
14. The Video Choreographer Was A Long-Time Collaborator With The Band — Who Still Has A Thriving Career
As well as making an appearance in Pharrel Williams' video for "Happy," and also starring in movies like "Romeo Must Die," "Dreamgirls," and "American Gangster," Fatima Robinson was also the Backstreet Boys' resident choreographer, who was responsible for the iconic dance routine of the video. In recent years, Robinson has lent her tremendous talents to directing music videos such as Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass," and Fifth Harmony's "Bo$$."
20 years later and it's still just about the greatest music video that any of us could have ever wished for. It's original, sexual, and everything we needed to rock our bodies for all time.