Tyrese On ‘Telephone’ Video: ‘I Didn’t Mind That I Was Poisoned’


Tyrese Gibson’s cameo in Lady Gaga’s “Telephone” video featuring Beyoncé surprised a lot of folks, including Tyrese. Even though the singer/actor revealed on Twitter (@Tyrese4Real) beforehand that he’d be playing the male lead. But how exactly did he end up there?

The actor/singer told VIBE that director Jonas Akerlund contacted him and said that Gaga and Beyoncé wanted him as their guy.

“I was like, ‘Wow, I’m flattered, I’m honored. And then he told me what he wanted me to do in the video,” Tyrese told VIBE. “I was like, ‘Okay that sounds cool.’ And then he was like, ‘At the end, you die.’ [Laughs] I said, ‘What do you mean?’ And he said, ‘Yeah, you die. They poison you and you die. Are you willing to do the video?’ I said, ‘Of course, I’ll do it!’ They’re only two of the biggest powerhouses out, and although I would rather not die in a music video to be seen around the world, I didn’t mind that I was poisoned from Gaga and Beyoncé.”

The scene comes in the middle of the nearly 10-minute video. Beyoncé struts into a diner rocking a tight yellow dress and sits down in a booth, where Tyrese is waiting. She smiles mischievously, there’s a shot of her boobs, and then Tyrese gets up and heads for the bar. He shoves a burly dude while Beyoncé pours poison into his coffee. Tyrese then smacks a woman’s butt while returning to the booth. After he sits down, he pours honey (which Gaga has also poisoned) over his food, starts coughing and then falls face first into his plate. Dead!

Although Tyrese and Beyoncé have met before, this was their first time working together. “Beyoncé looked and sounded as sexy as ever. She was sweet as pie and very professional, very classy,” said Tyrese.

Shooting the video was his first time meeting Lady Gaga, who made a striking first impression. “She walked up to me with a plastic see through outfit and her nipples were [out] and she had a thong on,” Tyrese recalled. “A nude thong, where it didn’t look like she was wearing anything and she was like, ‘Hi I’m Gaga.’ I was like, ‘Okay.’ [Laughs] I was like, This is a real introduction right here. She’s definitely one of a kind.”

Despite his fictional demise, Tyrese said he loved how the video turned out, calling it innovative and controversial. “It’s very forward thinking. It reminds me a lot of what Quentin Tarantino would’ve did or Dave LaChapelle,” said Tyrese. “It’s very retro, funky, international–something that somebody in Lithuania, Rome, France and Germany can embrace and enjoy.

“My fans are hitting me from everywhere,” he continued. “I’m getting a whole lot of new followers [on Twitter] ’cause it says Lady Gaga, Beyoncé and Tyrese Gibson [in the credits]. That’s pretty damn crazy.” —Clover Hope