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Paul Mescal stars in Phoebe Bridgers' music video for Savior Complex

By Mark Savage
BBC music reporter

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image copyrightPhoebe Bridgers
image captionThe clip stars Mescal and an adorable puppy

Fleabag creator Phoebe Waller-Bridge has directed a music video for her near-namesake Phoebe Bridgers, featuring Normal People's Paul Mescal.

The clip, for Bridgers' song Savior Complex, also stars a tiny puppy, who may or may not be a criminal kingpin.

According to a press release, the collaboration came about after Bridgers emailed Waller-Bridge during lockdown and found out they were mutual fans.

The video arrives a week after Bridgers was nominated for four Grammys.

The 26-year old was nominated for best new artist, while her smart, sad, elegant record Punisher is up for best alternative album. Her single Kyoto also received two nominations, for best rock performance and best rock song.

Bridgers later told the New York Times she was "in bed with a migraine" when the news came through - but said she was "honoured" to find herself in the first-ever all-female shortlist for best rock performance.

One of Punisher's stand-out tracks, Savior Complex is a delicate ballad that explores the emotional turmoil of dating someone who hates themselves.

image copyrightPhoebe Bridgers
image captionThe clip sees Mescal playing a mysterious character, who has suffered several painful-looking wounds

The black-and-white video sees Mescal playing a mysterious character covered in fake scars, who steals a car and ends up in a hotel room with a pocket-sized dog.

Bridgers appears in cameos throughout, driving past Mescal in a tractor, and delivering room service, before the clip's surprise denouement.

Mescal has been orbiting Bridgers' world since she wrote about his performance in Normal People earlier this year.

"Finished Normal People, now I'm sad and horny," she joked on Twitter.

"I'm officially dead," the actor replied.

The musician later told the NME she felt a "little pitter-patter in my heart" when "that cute boy" followed her back on social media.

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites.View original tweet on Twitter

Rumours of a romance have circulated ever since, and intensified after the singer visited the actor in Ireland over the summer.

Meanwhile, Bridgers has often spoken of her admiration for Waller-Bridge's work, telling Pitchfork that Fleabag had "affected me very deeply".

"Dirtbag dudes have Larry David and I have Phoebe Waller-Bridge," she said. "She strikes a chord in me.

"I read an interview with her where she was like, 'Every time I'm like, "Should I tell the truth?", the answer is yes." The best writing is just telling the truth. I feel the same way about Twitter as I do about songs, the only interesting thing you have to share is your own experience."

image copyrightGetty Images
image captionThe musician is up for four Grammy Awards next January

The musician contacted Waller-Bridge via email earlier this year, and the pair "hatched a plan to collaborate together on a music video for 'Savior Complex,'" her publicist said.

The film is currently only available on Bridgers' Facebook page.

The musician recently scored her first US top 40 hit with a cover of The Goo Goo Dolls' Iris, which was released to celebrate Joe Biden's win in the US Presidential election.

Recorded with fellow indie star Maggie Rogers, the song raised $173,703 (£129,347) for Stacey Abrams' Fair Fight organization, which aims to tackle voter suppression in the US.

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