‘Reality Bites’ director Ben Stiller remembers first hearing Lisa Loeb sing ‘Stay (I Missed You)’

Photo of author

Ben Stiller casts Lisa Loeb's song “Stay (I Missed You)” in his film reality Bites, (Photo: Everett Collection, Getty Images)

Where did you first hear Lisa Loeb's “Stay (I Missed You)”?

The artist sent that question out to the world on Wednesday on the 29th anniversary of the song, which was chosen for the film's star-studded soundtrack reality Bites And became a huge hit. Amazingly, she was still unsigned at the , and the track earned her the distinction of being the first independent artist to land at No. 1 on the Billboard Hot 100.

One of the many reactions she received was from none other than Ben Stiller, who played the yuppie executive at an MTV-ish channel who turned footage that Lelaina (Winona Ryder) made of her friends' lives into an artificial joke. I was imprisoned.

“I think Ethan gave it to me after listening to the demo cassette in my Jeep Cherokee somewhere in the valley…” Stiller wrote.

Ethan is, of course, Ethan Hawke, who stars in the film as disaffected twentysomething Troy, who is both loved and loathed by Lelaina, one of his roommates navigating the “real world” post-college. Hawke was Loeb's friend and neighbor in New York City at the time, and he is the one who passed on the idea to Stiller for his song, which has become a cult classic.

The video for Loeb's song — which famously features only her, in a Betsy Johnson outfit and cat-eye glasses, with her cat — has also become a classic. Remember, Loeb was still an unsigned artist, so he had to license the song to RCA and persuade them to produce it. He had a persuasive argument.

See also  Steven Yeun, Ali Wong and 'Beef' producer say David Cho has 'put in the work' since 'fabricated' rape story

Loeb told Yahoo Entertainment in February 2020, “I think the reason the record company let us make a video was because Ethan Hawke was directing it, because he was a movie star.” All this at once.”

“We shot it a million times,” she said. “There are so many consequences.”

The singer explained that she initially wanted her band, Nine Stories, to be with her. It was Hawk who wanted her alone.

“I was like, ‘People need to see that I actually play guitar! It's really important to me, playing my guitar!' I studied it for years, and I'm super good at it,” she said. “He needed to see my band, because I'm not a girl, I'm a band guy.”

Ben Stiller, Lisa Loeb, Winona Ryder, Janeane Garofalo and Ethan Hawke Celebrate 25th Anniversary

Ben Stiller, Lisa Loeb, Winona Ryder, Janeane Garofalo and Ethan Hawke Celebrate 25th Anniversary reality Bites at the 2019 Tribeca Film Festival at BMCC Tribeca Performing Arts Center on May 4, 2019 in New York City. (Photo: Theo Wargo/Getty Images for Tribeca Film Festival)

While Hawke did film some of Loeb's scenes with his band, even he later agreed that he and his guitar would be filmed in an empty apartment with only Hawke's cat as co-star. , “told the story much better.”

The audience also loved it and the video was in demand just like the song. Loeb and his glasses became a look that others wanted to emulate.

“In the beginning, when I was starting out playing on the radio and all that and having commercial success, I didn't want to talk about my glasses. I wanted to talk about my music and my guitar playing and all that. other stuff, which I thought was more musician-y,” Loeb said. But “people stop me all the time and say, ‘Oh my god, I feel comfortable wearing my glasses, because you wear your glasses.' It still happens today. People stop me at airports and grocery stores and say, ‘My little girl will wear her glasses, because you wear glasses.'”

See also  Dick Van Dyke has 'minor injuries' after car crash in Malibu: police

Here's the full video of the song that started it all: