EXCLUSIVE: Brittany Snow Talks Directorial Debut, Anti-Bullying Work and 'Hairspray' Reunions
By Emily Krauser
Brittany Snow has made her mark in the acting world, but this week, she made her directorial debut with a music video to Jai Wolf's "Indian Summer."
The project was a partnership between Gemio Band, a new bracelet that employs LED technology to respond to music and movement (basically, a dream toy for Coachella), and Snow's non-profit organization, Love is Louder.
In the video, a boy falls for a girl he sees at the same party. The pair go their separate ways with their pals, but the boy looks for his new love again later on, giving us an adorable cameo of Snow dressed in a bunny suit. Finally, the find each other again, and the evening culminates with a sweet kiss.
"I wanted to show how these bands could work at a club or concert or weird rave, that you see your crush and because of your lights syncing up with your bands, you find them again," Snow explains to ET.
The bands are all about connectedness, one of the main reasons behind why Snow co-founded Love is Louder with the Jeb Foundation almost six years ago.
"[Love is Louder] started out as a movement but is now a community that everyone around the world can feel like they're a part of," she explains. "I wanted to start it because I felt like there were a lot of people that needed a place where their emotions could be heard, and they had someplace to go where they didn't feel alone. You don't have to feel like an outsider. You're a part of something larger."
Snow has been outspoken about getting bullied in high school, so it's not a huge surprise that she has a love-hate relationship with social media. It's also quite the paradox: the online platforms have helped Love is Louder grow but are also another outlet for bullying.
"Sometimes, if used in the wrong way, [social media] can make you feel even more isolated, because you are comparing your insides to other people's outsides and in a way feeling like you don't belong to this Instagram picture or funny tweet or whatever people are talking about, and it can make you feel really alone," she tells ET.
Acknowledging that social media is here to stay, Snow concedes that it can be quite useful when used for good or as an opportunity for inclusivity. "For every bully and negative message on social media, maybe there's someone who can post something about Love is Louder, something positive, or just make somebody feel good," she says. "It's very useful for me. Sometimes during the day, I go on the #LoveIsLouder hashtag, and it makes me feel better that there are people that want to share their message and story, and they're not just talking about celebrity gossip or each other."
As for the music video, Snow came up with the concept herself, and she was set on using Wolf's song for it. "His music brings forth a feeling that you get when you're at a live show -- you feel excited and have all of that youthful energy," she tells ET. "There were other songs that I was trying to play around with and I just thought, no, this is the only song I want, so then I created the story from there."
The 30-year-old actress loves being behind the camera as much as in front of it and has always been interested in producing, which she's already done through her own production company. "I really like both sides of it, and if someone gives me the opportunity to be creative in any capacity, then I should do it," she says, adding that she doesn't believe she has to choose between acting or directing. "It stimulates another part of my brain."
Snow has even been taking a directing class, which she believes will also help with acting. Though she didn't expect to have the opportunity, a music video was actually the perfect way to test those directorial waters.
"Music has always been a really big part of my life and is probably my biggest inspiration when it comes to character and scripts," she says. "I always put together a playlist for every movie or TV show that I do, because I like to have music in my head when I play characters."
"I never really thought the images in my head when I'm listening to songs could actually happen, and then when Gemio approached me about directing, I thought, 'I'm going to be an idiot if I just don't say yes and try, and if I fail, then I at least tried to do it,'" she adds.
A big inspiration has been her Pitch Perfect co-star, Elizabeth Banks. "I remember on the first Pitch Perfect, when she was producing things, I just thought to myself, 'That's so cool. I would love to be able to do that one day and do everything,'" Snow recalls. "We talked on the phone and she said, 'You know, I only directed a few things before I directed Pitch Perfect 2,' and I was like, 'I'm trying to follow in your footsteps.' So she's been a huge source of inspiration."
Sadly for all Aca-fans, the only thing Snow knows about Pitch Perfect 3 is that there's no script yet, but she's definitely in it. So the question becomes, what does she think her character, Chloe, is doing now that she finally graduated from Barden University?
"I feel like she was really holding on to being a Bella and the legacy of that and not wanting to let go," Snow muses. "I think in some way, she went the total opposite direction and is now living free as a hippie, taking showers with everyone."
Another franchise that Snow was a part of has been in the news lately: Hairspray. She played Amber Von Tussle in the 2007 big screen reboot, which NBC will be tackling for its fourth live television musical event on Dec. 7. Snow wishes the brand new cast -- which includes Kristin Chenoweth, Becca Tobin, and Ariana Grande -- all the best.
"I think people know that I am very shy with singing in front of people. I can sing in the booth, I can sing when I'm doing karaoke, but in terms of singing on a live stage, oof, no way," she says. "My hat is off to whoever does that. But I'm still very close with and keep in contact with most of the cast and producers and Adam Shankman, the director, so that's always been nice. I'm sure we'll have a viewing party and watch it."
Hopefully, she'll bring along some co-stars from another one of her productions, American Dreams. Her character, Meg Pryor, was a dancer on Dick Clark's locally-produced American Bandstand, giving the show an eerily similar background to Hairspray and providing Snow with another on-set family to stay close to, namely Tom Verica and Vanessa Lengies.
"We always talk about how that show was just ahead of it's time -- the combination of singers playing icons and the music element, but also being about the '60s," she explains of the drama, which aired for three seasons from 2002 to 2005. "Back then, there wasn't social media, so no one could tweet about their appearance on it, and I feel like now it would've been a whole different ball game. It was a really great show, so we always talk about, 'Why can't Netflix do anything with it?' But it had it's time."
Here's to starting a whole new hashtag game.
ET spoke to Snow and her Pitch Perfect co-star, Anna Kendrick, when the beloved film first hit theaters in 2002. Flashback to the ladies explaining their roles in the then-unknown movie, below: