Imagine all the people … getting last-minute texts from Kristen Wiig asking them to sing a verse for a video she and Gal Gadot are putting together. That’s essentially how actor Jamie Dornan ended up singing the line “no hell below us” in the infamous celebrity “Imagine” video, a now canonical piece of coronavirus media. During an appearance on the podcast Tea With Me on April 8, host Shane Todd asked Dornan how he got involved in the very off-key celebfest, “cause you’re, like, the second guy in it.” Dornan explains that while working on Barb and Star Go to Vista Del Mar last summer, he and Kristen Wiig “got on brilliantly.” So when Wiig asked him to participate, texting him ‘Gal and I are trying to organize this thing to lift spirits,’” Dornan responded, “yeah fine whatever of course I’ll do it it sounds like a lovely thing to do.” Dornan also admits that “I nearly texted Kristen going, ‘What key?’” addressing one of many fundamental problems with the video: that none of these celebrities were on the same page when it came to things like tune, tempo, and whether or not anyone would actually have their spirits lifted by A-listers with access to coronavirus testing crooning in their too-nice homes. At least Dornan shot his verse against a plain white wall, “in the toilet of my house.”
Once the video was up and the backlash began, Dornan says, “Kristen texted me a couple days later like, ‘sorry.’” Because he’s not on social media, Dornan didn’t initially hear about the negative reaction but was “made aware of it pretty quickly by some mates,” including one who texted him saying he was watching a “video of all these pompous, self-righteous wanker actors.” Dornan has figured out the crucial flaw that doomed the “Imagine” video: the houses are too nice.
“Quite clearly, some people had escaped to their second home. There’s too much acreage in the background, too many beautiful trees swaying in the background, clearly in front of an ocean. That sort of craic.”
If you want to watch the filmed podcast for yourself, he starts talking about the “Imagine” video around the 22:30 mark. He also talks about Tiger King, because that’s the law, now. When asked if he would ever play Joe Exotic, he says, “it’s not gonna happen for me. I’m maybe more husband material.”