Beyoncé gave the Kardashians her blessing after they made a 'Cuff It' music video, according to the video's director. Here's how it came together.
- "The Kardashians" season three opens with a roller rink music video set to Beyoncé's "Cuff It."
- Insider spoke with the music video's director, Arrad, about putting the sequence together.
Beyoncé may not have released a video for "Cuff It," or any track from her latest album "Renaissance," just yet — but she gave her blessing for "The Kardashians" to use the single.
Season three of the Hulu series kicks off with a sleek roller rink music video set to the sensational track, which won the award for best R&B song at the 2023 Grammy Awards and is Beyoncé's longest-charting solo song on the Billboard Hot 100. Featuring the six Kardashian-Jenner women — Kris, Kourtney, Kim, Khloé, Kendall, and Kylie — with a bonus Corey Gamble in the mix, it's a breezy sequence that clears the air after a tension-filled preview of the drama ahead.
Director Arrad, who helmed the sequence and has previously crafted music videos for the likes of Kim Petras and Nicki Minaj, told Insider that "Cuff It" felt like a natural choice — and luckily, Beyoncé approved.
"We honestly just put it in the edit and we just crossed our fingers to hope she'd sign off," he told Insider. "And surprisingly, Beyoncé actually loved it."
The 'Cuff It' sequence was shot in the span of just a few hours at an iconic roller rink
The roller rink sequence contrasts heavily with the original opening sequence of "The Kardashians" — a drone-filmed, glitzy tour of the family's homes and offices set to Silk Sonic's "777." Rather than attempting to capture the full scope of the girlbossified Kardashian-Jenner empire, the season three opener has a much more intimate, playful vibe.
"They wanted something that was like, on that level in terms of uniqueness, creativity, fun," Arrad told Insider, referring to the season one opening sequence. "But they wanted to incorporate all the ladies a little bit more."
By the time he joined the project in July 2022, Arrad said, the roller skating concept was loosely in place, but with a mandate to "veer away" from vintage or retro aesthetics typically associated with the activity. Rather, the music video — a novel concept for the family, in and of itself – was to be "more contemporary, more high fashion, more something that just speaks Kardashians."
The final product features the Kardashian-Jenner women, all clad in Kim's shapewear brand Skims, skating around the rink at Moonlight Rollerway in the Glendale neighborhood of Los Angeles. The rink frequently serves as a filming location in series like "Euphoria" and hosts events like a queer skate night. According to Arrad, there wasn't much of a choice as to where to film, given the dwindling number of roller rinks in the city — but the venue was familiar to the family, he said, and had the added benefit of being close to a number of Armenian restaurants, one of which catered the shoot.
Still, filming at Moonlight Rollerway required a bit of filming magic to transform the space, like bringing in warmer lighting sources and keeping more vintage elements like the venue's carpeting out of frame.
"The goal was not to make us feel like it was from the eighties," Arrad told Insider. "The goal was to make us feel like it's, you know, 2023. That's kind of what we went for with the wardrobe and the lights."
Arrad told Insider that, given the family's schedules, the entire sequence was shot in the span of just a few hours. Getting all of the necessary shots meant filming as soon as a member of the cast was ready, from shots on the rink, to in a photo booth, to one of, say, Khloé taking a selfie with a slushie.
With 'Cuff It,' the vibes were good, the track was trending, and the queen (Beyoncé) approved
Arrad told Insider that the decision to use "Cuff It" for the sequence didn't come until the editing process — so if you were imaging Kylie and Kendall racing around the rink to four straight hours of Beyoncé on loop, that unfortunately didn't happen. The playlist during filming, Arrad said, ranged from Travis Scott (Kylie's ex), to Bad Bunny (Kendall's rumored beau), to Earth, Wind & Fire.
When it came to selecting the actual music for the sequence, "Cuff It" was an easy choice. Not only was everyone "just really excited about Beyoncé," but "Renaissance" had been released only a few months before the sequence was shot in September 2022, and "Cuff It" was on the Billboard Hot 100.
Luckily, Beyoncé agreed as well to the song's use in the show, which is premiering as she's on her long-awaited "Renaissance" tour. According to Arrad, Beyoncé told Khloé Kardashian at a party that she "loved the cut," and was "excited" that the show was using the song.
Representatives for Beyoncé and Kardashian did not immediately respond to Insider's requests for comment.
Beyoncé herself has not released any "Renaissance" visuals, which fans have been anticipating since the July release of the album, and acknowledged as much during the opening night of her tour. For now, Arrad said, perhaps this sequence could stand in until the queen releases her own music video in due time.
"Getting Beyoncé's blessing was amazing, and it was like the icing on the cake," he told Insider. "It was like, okay, yeah, this was meant to be."
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