Cosmo: First of all, how old are you?
Cailin Russo: I’m 19, but I’ll be turning 20 on December 17.
Cosmo: And how did you get to be the only girl in this video?
CR: I’m with the Osbrink Agency commercially and I just got a casting one day. I’m friends with Dustin the casting director, so I went and auditioned. I didn’t know what video I was auditioning for — I thought I would be one of seven video girls. After I auditioned, Dustin moved my video up to the front of the line to be viewed first and, to my knowledge, I was the only video that they saw and decided from there.
Cosmo: What was the casting like?
CR: It was super short, just like any other music video casting. Like I said, I didn’t know what the project was for.
Cosmo: So did you freak out when you found what and who the video was for?
CR: I got the call sheet the night before the shoot and my jaw dropped when I saw that it said my name and Justin Bieber’s only. I was on a high. I knew it was going to be a big deal. I wasn’t allowed to tell anyone about it, but I wanted to leave it as a surprise anyway.
Cosmo: Were you nervous on the day of the shoot?
CR: I didn’t have an appetite the day of, but I was so ready to do the job. In the beginning I wasn’t too nervous because Justin didn’t bring his presence until later in the day, but when he did that’s when I got nervous. I didn’t know what was going to happen because the song is super romantic, and since the shoot was set up a certain way, I didn’t even know if we would be shooting together. But the first take was us kissing!
Cosmo: Um, that’s intense. How did you feel about that?
CR: In the beginning it was kind of weird because I had never kissed anyone on set that passionately or that famous. I wasn’t a super fan of his before I did this and I just kept thinking to myself that people would kill to do this.
Cosmo: So, is he a good kisser?
CR: Yeah. Kissing him was nice — I got butterflies and I do still to this day. After the shoot wrapped it felt so surreal, I even got a speeding ticket after the shoot because I was on such a high. I guess you could say I wouldn’t mind doing it again. [Laughs]
Cosmo: Overall, what was Justin like on set?
CR: He introduced himself to everyone when he got there, and then he did his own thing and was talking to his own people. We got way more comfortable as the day went on. He was so nice to me and we were fully conversating the entire time. We would even go into the tour bus in between sets and talk, he’d play me some of his music, like the song with R. Kelly — it was fun.
Cosmo: Did you makeout more in his tour bus?
CR: [Laughs] No, we didn’t make out in his tour bus.
Cosmo: Ok, so since you were this close to him, what did he smell like?
CR: He smelled really nice, like cologne, but I couldn’t place it. And his breath was really fresh all day.
Cosmo: It would have to be with all of those sexy kissing scenes. What has the feedback been from other girls? Are you getting death threats or anything since the video dropped?
CR: I’ve gotten several death threats, none like, “I’m going to find you and kill you,” but I’ve received ones that say, “Die,” and “Kill yourself” — people seriously have no boundaries with social media, I was just doing my job. But there are lot of people defending me, too, which is nice. I’ve definitely gained some fans from this all.
Cosmo: Oh yeah?
CR: Yeah, my Twitter following tripled from 6,000 before the video came out. It’s kind of insane.
Cosmo: Speaking of the video, do you like how it turned out?
CR: I thought they made me look way classy and not trashy at all, and I was happy with how Justin and I interacted. It didn’t come out like we were shoving our tongues in each other’s mouth or anything weird like that at all.
Cosmo: Well, there was clearly chemistry between you both, which helped, right?
CR: I think so. I told myself to not hold back and give it my all, so for me, I wanted it to be as real as possible. I really let myself be in the moment.
Cosmo: Regarding the sexy clothing for the video, did Justin weigh in on the cropped overalls and leather hot pants you wore?
CR: I don’t think so. The costume director was going for an Aaliyah-type of look with the overalls. And the leather bralet and leather hot pant outfit helped to set the mood — it made me feel sexy. I was ready to do whatever they wanted me to do.
Cosmo: I know you said this was the first type of video you’ve done like this. How much of what you did was improv and how much of it was directed?
CR: I think it was 50-50. There is a scene with an ice cube and I didn’t know what to do with it. The director kept telling me to love that ice cube, so I really had to think about how I would be really loving this ice cube. [Laughs] So, I thought about sexy time, ya know? But it was freezing on set, so it was a weird thing to do. All of the lights were red though, which helped set the mood, so I was able to get into it.
Cosmo: So, now that the video has wrapped, do you still talk to Justin?
CR: Yeah, we still talk.
Cosmo: How is he stored in your phone?
CR: I have him under an alias. If my phone is out and I’m with people, I don’t want anyone to see if he texts me or FaceTimes me, ya know?
Cosmo: Oh, so he FaceTimes you?
CR: Yeah, we don’t do it a lot, just now and then.
Cosmo: When he texts you does he use emoticons?
CR: No, just the old-school smiley face that you make with a colon and a parenthesis.
Cosmo: How would you describe your status with him?
CR: We’re homies. We’ll hang out when he’s around and I would love to possibly write music with him someday. His music is so good, I was really intimidated when I heard him singing.
Cosmo: Are you in a relationship currently?
CR: I had a boyfriend up until the video and the drop. We broke up for about a week after, but we’re back together… for now.
Cosmo: So, what attracted-slash-surprised you most about Justin?
CR: That he was humble. He didn’t try to be all flashy and he wasn’t like check out my guns or my six pack. [Laughs.] He was down to earth on the shoot and he was so nice to everyone.
Cosmo: What is the sexiest thing about him?
CR: His voice and his smile — oh my god, it makes your heart crumble a little bit.
Cosmo: Did his harem pants turn you on?
CR: I like his style and yes, I liked his harem pants. We were both wearing them. His were leather and the ones I was wearing were my own.
Cosmo: Switching gears a bit, fans are obsessed with comparing you to Selena. What are your thoughts on that?
CR: I think it’s ridiculous. Selena is a superstar and I’m just a girl in a video. She’s his ex and I’m sure they still have feelings for each other.
Cosmo: How do you think she felt watching you in the video with him?
CR: I’m sure there might be bitterness, but I was just doing my job. She posted a picture on Instagram that said, “I thought he only liked the Latina category. Smh… #nomakeup #hatewhengirlssaythat.” It was clearly directed at him with me in the video, but like I said I was just doing my job.
Cosmo: How did you feel when he posted that picture of you kissing him on the cheek on Instagram?
CR: I didn’t know he was going to post the picture of us on set, but when I saw it I was like, “Oh shit, he just dropped that!”
Cosmo: I’m sure once people saw that your phone probably blew up. What have your friends been saying about this whole experience?
CR: People I haven’t talked to in forever are bragging about me and coming out of the woodworks, claiming my friendship and everything. It’s weird.
Cosmo: Has your life changed since the video?
CR: There hasn’t been anything too crazy — but you probably wouldn’t be calling me if I weren’t in it, so there’s that.
Cosmo: So what’s next for you?
CR: I’m going on a big trip for my birthday in Nigeria, but when I get back I hope there are a ton of opportunities waiting. We’ll see!