“We Made You” is one of those legendary Eminem songs that translated into an epic visual experience. In the classic Slim Shady style that we love, Eminem had his finger on the pulse of exactly what was happening in the world of celebrities. No one was safe in “We Made You.” Em’s eclectic range of targets included Bret Michaels, Kevin Federline, Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Samantha Ronson, Amy Winehouse, Ellen DeGeneres, Portia de Rossi, Jessica Alba, Elvis Presley, Tony Romo, John Mayer, Jennifer Anniston, Kim Kardashian, and of course, Sarah Palin.
Yours truly starred as Sarah Palin in multiple scenes, and I’m also featured on the single’s artwork. As a fan of Eminem, and the first living generation of the music video era, I’m still in awe that I got to be a part of something so dope. At 44 years old, I feel I get some major cool points, and I’m forever thankful to Eminem. Whenever I’m in search of inspiration, I watch the video and replay that day in my mind – “We Made You” will forever be my hype song.
My first time speaking with Eminem happened while we were in bed together – seriously. It was while we were shooting the scene where my Sarah Palin persona was dressed in lingerie, canoodling in bed with Bret Michaels. We entered the set, I climbed into bed while Em was talking with the director and going over the concepts for the scene. I laid there quietly; absorbing what was about to happen. I couldn’t believe that I’d be wearing lingerie the first time I met Eminem and we’d be laying in bed together! I decided to shake the nerves and live in the moment. As he climbed into the bed there was a camera crew shooting pictures while he was answering some interview questions. The production crew was working feverishly to set up the shot. They were checking the lighting, positioning the camera, and suddenly it was time for us to roll over to the center of the bed. At the exact same time, we looked at each other and both said, “Hey, what’s up? My name is…” That was it and it was perfect. We shook hands and we got to work.
The set for “We Made You” was more like a major motion picture than a music video. The director, Joseph Kahn, who’s directed more music videos than you can imagine, had the largest production crew, and I reveled at their focus. There were editors on set putting graphics together while we were shooting. After a couple takes, Eminem and Joseph would look at it and play around with some animation concepts. It was, and still is, the most efficient operation I’ve ever seen. In one long day of filming, everything that required the cast was complete; there was simply no time for anything but production. For the amount of different sets involved, including all the makeup and wardrobe for Eminem alone, I was amazed how it all flowed so well. Sitting on the sidelines between my shots and watching production all day was fascinating. When I got a chance to look at the graphics being added I was totally blown away. The shot where Kim Kardashian is shoved into the wood chipper was funny, but became hilarious when the graphics were added to have the other end of the wood chipper spit out money! Every detail was brilliant on all levels.
“We Made You” was released April 7th, 2009. It took home the MTV Video Music Award for Best Hip Hop Video that year, on top of earning nominations for Best Male Video and Video of the Year. It instantly became my song that I would instinctively dance to every time I walked onstage as Sarah Palin. If I was lucky, the club would play the music video on all the TVs while I was on stage dancing. I probably did, over the coarse of six years, at least 500 shows as Sarah Palin. Having a hype song – that I was actually in the music video for – was the best way to prevent burnout. Every night, as I would hear the opening of the song, I would begin to replay that day. Being a part of “We Made You” gave my persona of Palin a lot more swagger.
This was published by the Stashed June 2, 2016