Anton Corbijn Discusses Directing Nirvana’s “Heart Shaped Box” Music Video

Anton Corbijn the director of Nirvana’s acclaimed ‘Heart-Shaped Box’ video discusses the legacy, casting and more in a new interview with The Daily Beast

On the casting process for the video:

“The bigger woman and the child were not so difficult, although it was difficult sometimes I think for the child to act because there was blood coming out of her blouse at some point. But to find an old man who looked like an old man in L.A. was not so easy. [Laughs] In the end we found this fantastic man who had a jazz club or a jazz station on the radio, something like that. Quite into culture. Consequently, he looked fantastic, and not Hollywood-like. But there was a really eerie moment where he fell down while walking, on the set. He had some kind of bowel cancer, which he didn’t know. Something broke open. There was blood everywhere. We had to get the ambulance, and he had to go to the hospital straight off. It was really severe.”

On when he realized the video was going to be iconic:

“I think when I saw it on MTV. And Kurt was so happy with it that a few months later he asked me to do another video for them for a song called “Pennyroyal Tea.” But I said, “Kurt, I don’t think I can do it. I’m going to disappoint you. I don’t think I can make another video as good at ‘Heart-Shaped Box.’ I’m not going to live up to your expectations. Then he said, “Well, if you don’t do it, I’ll never do another video again with anybody.” And he never did. “Heart-Shaped Box” became the last video.”

On the message Cobain was trying to convey:

“I’m not totally sure. I think there was a very personal thing in there. I never got to the bottom of that. Some idea about cancer in society, as well as proper cancer, but I never … It was not really clear to me, to be honest, what Kurt personally had in there. And there were absolutely personal things in there: maybe to deal with drugs, maybe to deal with Courtney.”

Bio: Mike Mazarone graduated from the Connecticut School of Broadcasting in 2011 with a degree in communications, basically relegating him to better then you status (Except for boss Brett Buchanan). Before joining the AlternativeNation staff he was a contributor and producer to Brett Buchanan’s pro wrestling/MMA/comedy radio show – Barbaric Wrestling Radio, from 2006 to 2009. Mazzarone’s job there was to be a contributor and book interviews. After the show ended Buchanan hired Mazzarone right away to be AlternativeNation's head reporter. Contact: MJMazarrone (at) or; mike (at)
  • unglued

    I never knew about it.