Maddie Ziegler on controversial Sia video: Shia LaBeouf's hygiene was an issue
Sia's "Elastic Heart" video featuring Shia LaBeouf, wrestling 'Dance Mom' star Maddie Ziegler in a cage continues to spark controversy with some calling it inappropriate. Sia has since apologized for the video, saying that she never intended to upset anyone. ET spoke to the 12-year-old dancer before herSaturday Night Live performance over the weekend.
I anticipated some 'pedophelia!!!' Cries for this video. All I can say is Maddie and Shia are two of the only actors I felt could play- sia (@Sia) January 8, 2015
"I've never danced with a much older guy like that before -- and it wasn't like we were actually dancing together because we were fighting each other. We were battling,"Maddie told ET.
But according to Maddie, the premise of the video, which has more than 60 million views, is pretty straightforward.
"I'm supposed to be portraying a werewolf and pretty much Shia and I have been just living in the cage for a year and I'm the strong one and I'm trying to pretty much kill him," she explained.
One of Sia's video collaborators, Daniel Askill, talked to Vanity Fair about how Maddie was chosen for "Elastic Heart."
"We'd actually talked about all sorts of different dancers, like much older dancers," Daniel admitted to the magazine. "We really wanted to find someone interesting who we thought could embody the idea of Sia in an interesting light. And it was really Sia in the end who-you know she's a big reality TV fan? I remember her e-mailing or calling me one day and saying, 'This girl Maddie [Ziegler]. I think this girl Maddie is amazing. Do you know of her?' And I was like, 'No. I've never watched Dance Moms, what are you talking about?' She sent me a link so we could watch an episode of the show together. I'm not the fan of reality TV that Sia is, but it was clear that there was something very special about Maddie as a performer. So we contacted her and that was that."
If the fighting in the music video seems real that's because it is. She had a lesson in method acting on set.
"Every time in between takes they would say, 'You need to be more aggressive. You need to bite him harder. You need to slap him harder.' And I'm like, 'I can't. I don't want to slap someone. That's scary,'" Maddie said. "Shia kept saying, 'No, you need to hit me as a hard as you can. It's not real until you hit me as hard as you can.'"
Maddie followed their instructions, but she wasn't a big fan of the results.
"I really did bite Shia, and it was gross because we were dirty and I had to bite his dirty hands," Maddie said. "I kept wiping myself off and I kept handing the wipes to Shia and he was like, 'I don't need the wipes' and I was like, 'Yes, you do.' I brought perfume and everything. I didn't want to smell and he was like, 'Oh, I'm totally fine with it. I don't care.'"
Fortunately for Maddie she eventually succeeded in getting Shia to see things her way.
"He actually listened to me," she said. "I was like, 'I'm sorry, but you're kind of dirty.'"
Watch the clip to see Maddie's video diary from behind-the-scenes at SNL before and after her stellar performance.