Cruel

Album: Strange Mercy (2011)

Songfacts®:

  • The song's music video was filmed around San Francisco and on Mare Island. It was the third consecutive clip directed by the Terri Timely directing team for St. Vincent. Speaking with NME in 2014, she recalled Cassidy, the sweet, mordant little girl featured in the clip. "She was so smart and so bizarre, she was so really special kid. I liked her a whole lot. I hope she's doing well."

    St. Vincent added to The Huffington Post: "She was cracking me up between takes, wheeling herself around in the prop wheelchair and showing me how to use her Playstation handheld to take pictures of people and then comically distort their faces. Very intelligent, very special child."
  • The father/bereaved husband in the video was played by Bjørn Johnson, who opened Bjørn Johnson Acting Studio in Los Angeles in 2001. He has appeared in such hit TV shows as Dexter, Madmen, ER, Sopranos, Nip/Tuck, Law and Order and Criminal Minds. St. Vincent recalled to The Huffington Post that he, "instructed me on how to make the abduction scene more believable by not anticipating that he was about to throw a sack over my head."

    "Luckily, it didn't take much method acting to honestly react to," she continued, "well, having a sack thrown violently over my head and my body thrown into the trunk of a car."

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