Here’s the Casting Call for Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit’ Video
First step toward appearing in the clip: "adapt a high school personna [sic]"
As it turns out, the iconic apathy and destruction in Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” began like any other music video: with a casting call. Director Samuel Bayer needed to enlist a whole host of young people to fill out the high school bleachers in the clip, so he put out a flyer that asks 18 to 25 year olds “adapt a high-school personna [sic], i.e., preppy, punk, nerd, jock.”
Before Cobain convinced Brayer to let the kids blow off some steam by moshing in the gymnasium, the preppies and punks were notoriously forced to sit through take after take of the track. Those extras likely didn’t have to fake their disinterest.
You can the whole casting call below, via All That Is Interesting, and watch the final product above. If you’re in need of more Nirvana, check out a few stories we’ve recently unearthed from the SPIN archives.