Cindy Crawford on her steamy bath scene in George Michael’s “Freedom” video

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If you weren’t fighting a head cold like I was this weekend, you may have caught the Showtime documentary George Michael: Freedom, which debuted on the cable network on Saturday. The doc was the last project George was working on before his death at the age of 53 on Christmas Day, 2016.

A good portion of the documentary, which features interviews with Stevie Wonder, Tony Bennett, Mary J. Blige, Ricky Gervais, and Elton John among others, focuses on George’s landmark video for “Freedom ’90.” The iconic music video was directed by David Fincher, who went on to direct such films as Se7en, Fight Club and Gone Girl. For the video, George opted not to appear on screen, due, in fact, to his desire to escape the teen idol image he established with Wham! Instead, he recruited the 90s biggest supermodels, including Naomi Campbell, Linda Evangelista, Christy Turlington and Cindy Crawford. The models shared their memories from the making of the video in the documentary.

Cindy, now 51, talked about her racy scene, writhing in a steamy tub. She shared some behind the scenes dish, confessing that “Even though the shot ended up looking like a steamy bath scene there was no water in the scene — I was covered in some kind of glycerin to make my skin shiny, and I thought, ‘Well I hope Fincher knows what he’s doing.” She also recalls that despite getting all greasy for the sake of art, she had “such a good experience doing this video” and says that to this day, every time she hears the song, “it transports me back to that time of being a 22-year-old model and being part of such a great video.”

The model and infomercial maven, who, like all of the other models was paid $15,000 per day for the shoot, may have let sentiment blur how the experience really felt. A 2015 Allure story about the making of the video said of the scene:

On orders from the director, Crawford’s makeup was to look “completely trashed, as if she’d been in a steamy atmosphere,” says Brown, “so I did the makeup and then oiled it down. The poor girl must have been freezing because it wasn’t hot in there. I remember her walking across that studio so fearlessly and proudly and not making any sort of a big deal that she was wearing only a G-string.”

[From Allure]

In that same article, Cindy recognized the significance of the video, noting, “MTV had changed the face of music — all of a sudden it mattered what musicians looked like. The video had a dark humor. It was saying, If you have to be beautiful to sell music now, let’s just put five beautiful faces in there. But when we were doing it, it was just, hey, this is going to be a really cool video.”

If this is making you nostalgic for the 90s, and for the heyday of George Michael, who, like so many artists, was taken from us too soon, you can check out the video below. And, if you can, watch the doc. It looks pretty amazing.

George Michael: Freedom

Cindy Crawford out and about in Milan

'Her Time' Omega Photocall

Photos: Getty Images, WENN.com

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63 Responses to “Cindy Crawford on her steamy bath scene in George Michael’s “Freedom” video”

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  1. Handwoven says:

    I love that video.
    Out of all the deaths in 2016, George’s was the saddest to me.
    Leonard Cohen, David Bowie? Those were bloody difficult to hear but they were older, and had found happiness.
    George always seemed a bit tortured, a bit lonely.

    • LadyMTL says:

      Prince’s death was the one that hit me the hardest, but all of those losses were rough, including George Michael. I remember being at my mom’s last Christmas when the news broke and everything stopped outright while we all tried to wrap our minds around it.

      On a happier note, I love Freedom ’90! It’s still one of my all-time favorite songs. “When you shake your a*ss, they notice fast. Some mistakes were built to last!” Ain’t that the truth.

      • Rosalee says:

        Gord Downie…I’ve been listening to his music for the past three days..I can’t get through Bobcayon without crying. Canada is in a state of mourning..loved George Michael, I was a student at Western..Wearing my Walkman on my hip and dance down the halls. Freedom was a terrific edition to the soundtrack of my student life.

      • sue says:

        gord downie..rip.. that one is still hitting me hard

      • ArchieGoodwin says:

        The Ceeps!!!

        Thursday nights! :)

      • Persistent Cat says:

        I’m in Ottawa. The flag on the Peace Tower on Parliament Hill is at half-mast.

    • milla says:

      And he was never celebrated for his post Faith work… He will always be my fave male musician.

      As for Freedom, that song and that video mean more now then ever. You have perfect lyrics and sexy, powerful women.

      • Secret squirrel says:

        Listen Without Prejudice will always be my absolute favourite album.

      • ArchieGoodwin says:

        Mine too. Kissing a Fool is top 10 favourite songs ever. Number one is True Faith by New Order. Then Boys of Summer by Don Henley.

        Then they all shift around, 3-10. I think I have maybe 100 top 10 favourite songs. :P

    • Wilma says:

      George Michael hit me the hardest also, though he was not my favourite musically. He apparently was a happy person, but what made me so sad about his death was how charitable and genuinely nice he was, reading about all the good he did and how he tried to do keep it all from the general public. A very kind and generous soul!

    • Rosalee says:

      Damn..I can’t spell this morning it’s Bobcaygeon..and “The Ceeps” was the place for me and my cash strapped friends to gather..I can’t remember many things..but it could have been the Willie Nelson, it could have been the wine. It was in the mid-80′s and I was a fresh faced kid at Western with a purple mohawk, I loved George Michael and the Boss. I had eclectic taste in music..I tore up my levi’s to look like George Michael’s and bleached whiter than white t-shirts.

  2. Enough Already says:

    Instamodels need not apply. *sigh*
    This makes me wish I’d saved all of my J.Crew catalogues from the ’90s lol.

  3. Kimma1216 says:

    RIP George Michael..his death was a massive blow for me. I shamelessly play “Last Christmas” all year round, still..

  4. Lobstah says:

    Man she’s pretty. Loved this video!!!

  5. Nev says:

    Fantastic documentary!
    Iconic moment. Just the best.

  6. Talie says:

    I can’t even imagine how fabulous it was to be a supermodel in the 90s.

  7. Sixer says:

    I watched the film the other day. Made me cry! It was a bit self-indulgent on George’s part but we don’t mind that, do we? The bits about the video and his refusing to brand himself on that whole album, and it being part of the issue with Sony, were interesting. Also, the part about the confluence in timing between the Freddie Mercury tribute concert and Anselmo’s AIDS diagnosis was really sad.

    I miss George.

  8. neelyo says:

    The documentary made me sad for Michael but I didn’t think it was well done. Lots of navel gazing and could have used more depth. But it did make me nostalgic for this song and video.

    Perfect melding of song and visual and they were all just breathtakingly beautiful.

    • Sixer says:

      He made it himself, so I think that’s why. I would describe it as his love letter to himself. And lord knows, it’s nice to think he found some self-love before he died, you know?

      • milla says:

        He had to make sth that was not about his 1998 arrest or his political views. He made a love letter to his fans. Like, look, this happened and this is who i am, apart from being this and that.

        Omg i cried so much since he died cos his music was honest… he was a good person.

      • Sixer says:

        Yes, maybe a love letter to his fans.

        Have you ever read the Storify by Scouse Rachel about when he joined Twitter? It’s the sweetest thing ever! Especially the bit where he realises swearing is click bait!

        https://storify.com/scouserachel/george-michaels

      • antipodean says:

        @Sixer, thank you for that ace link to George’s, and the lovely Scouse Rachel’s twitter exchanges. It’s bittersweet to go back to such a seemingly innocent time. George really was such a sweet soul. Gone too soon, but his wonderful music remains. Why do the good ones always die young?
        Hope you and the Mister, and Major and Minor are all doing well.

      • Lightpurple says:

        Oh, him learning Twitter was the best!

      • Milla says:

        Tnx for making me laugh ♥ i read all tweets after he died. I actually went through a long period of grief. It really was a horrible end of awful year.

        When you lose such artists, like Bowie and Prince, but most of all George, and you get stuck thinking there might be ww3 and you have no idea how to escape ugly reality through music, you are left hopeless… But now i honor and learn from those wonderful artists, they really knew more than any world leader..

  9. SK says:

    Let’s not forget the male models! Can’t remember any of their names but there were 3(?) of them in the clip – so 8 beautiful faces.

    I love this clip, I really do, it is super iconic and they were all SO BEAUTIFUL! But also mostly terrible actors and I think it’s because models are trained to get the maximum number of good shots of their faces and bodies. They are always finding their angles – it’s what makes them great models. Good acting is almost the opposite. It’s not caring about your angles or looking beautiful and going for a real emotion – often the opposite of beautiful. Naomi gives the best emotion in the clip facially because she goes for it and sells it better.

    Anyway, I suppose with the video clip theme of “selling a pretty face” it all works better in the end ;)

  10. GRR says:

    I think if you were in an iconic video made by a megastar, you probably wouldn’t remember or care decades later that the set had been a bit chilly or your makeup wasn’t perfect.

  11. slowsnow says:

    The beggining of the end:

    “(…) all of a sudden it mattered what musicians looked like. The video had a dark humor. It was saying, If you have to be beautiful to sell music now, let’s just put five beautiful faces in there. (…)”

    Didn’t this disturb anyone? We always establish a cut between the “Top-Models” and the Insta-Models but aren’t the latter an update of that empty culture? It’s not just because it’s the past that it’s good.

    • magnoliarose says:

      No, not really. There was a change in the beauty standard, and it became hipster waif and not beauty as a backlash against those models’ power, so actresses became cover models because there weren’t the glamazons to excite anyone.
      The Instagirls are a manufactured phenomenon by parents who paid a lot of people to make them happen. It wasn’t organic, so it never translated into something more than a fad. What has happened is the scouts are finding model types again and creating social media for them.
      Now the industry is bored with it, and Kendall, in particular, has a bad rep for her attitude with Gigi not far behind. Also, word on the street is Anna Wintour almost lost her job for promoting them as she did. I think one or two will remain, but the others will fall off.
      What IS better now is a demand for more diversity, fuller figures, older and an updated standard that is more inclusive. Hopefully, it sends a message women would advance if we controlled the beauty standard. It is a perfect time for full-figured beauties to claim their well-deserved place in the industry.

      • slowsnow says:

        I know what you’re saying but I’m speaking about the role beauty plays in the music industry and the industry at large. In the 50′s until the 80′s you had an almost naked woman next to a car. Now these models sell stuff in their Insta accounts or by wearing them in pap strolls. Not very different, just a variable context and merketing strategy. It became more subtle such as this quote reveals “you have to be beautiful to sell music now”. You may find the Instas rude but the Top Models had their moments too as you very well know but they’re divinised just because they belonged to “our times” (Naomi being the peak example).

        Bella Hadid changed her physique to attain the glamorous look an it girl has and it works. The kids adore Cara and Gigi (even my daughterknows them, and she could not say the name of a model to save her life). Then they go out with musicians and become the it pair (Drake and Bella, Gigi and Zain, Serena (who is a wannabee model) and The Weeknd etc). Moreover, now even the real singers have to be beautiful to attain a certain status: see Beyoncé, Taylor Swift (whether you like them or not), Katy Perry. Even Lady Gaga has the pressure to be striking and fit. I see continuity here: maybe the Top Models were better looking and less plastic, but they did serve the myth of the most beautiful woman on earth (served to you in 5 different flavours) like a bunch of barbies and contributed to sell a lot of crap and a lifestyle that was seen as desirable (there was a moment in my childhood when everyone wanted to be a model).

      • magnoliarose says:

        Ahhh I see what you mean.
        The 90s models were before my time but I loved looking at my mother’s fashion magazines, and my sisters were obsessed. I was the tag along youngest who idolized them and therefore idolized everything they did. Lol, My sisters had the European fashion magazines, and the models just seemed so otherworldly to me. They are memories of my childhood so I guess sentimentality may play a role.
        Kate Moss, Frankie Raydar, Caroline Murphy, Shalom Harlow, Liya Kebede, Amber Valletta, Stella Tennant, Gisele, Eva Herzigova, Lara Stone, Natalia V, Karolina Kurkova, Coco Rocha, Agyness, Gemma Ward, Natasha Poly are the models that define my generation. From the late 90s to early 2010s.
        There is an art to great editorials, fashion illustration, styling, design, photography and some campaigns. I even go back to look fashion photography in the early 20th century. It is the creative side I am familiar with but not the business of fashion.
        Models can be bratty, but few are as profoundly disliked as K and G when many overtures had been made to accept them guide them by older models but they believe their hype and have an inflated sense of entitlement. Very messy with that whole circle. I don’t include Karli or even Cara or Taylor in that because they are on the path to building long careers.
        The others are messy and are going to burn out soon merely from hard living. It is the risk of that career.
        I am looking forward to diversity and the creativity it will inspire.

  12. IlsaLund says:

    I watched this documentary. I know George was working on it when he died, but the credits seemed to indicate it was completed by his friend/manager.

    I know people have a tendency to idolize someone when they die but George Michael will always be one of my favorite singers. I was surprised at the effect his death had on me. With George, even though you knew his demons and self inflicted missteps, you kind of understood. He was such a sensitive soul and you could hear it in his music. He was taken too soon cause he had so much left to share with us all.
    #RIP

  13. hollah says:

    I loved that song and video as a kid but watching it now as 36 year old adult I’m struck by how freaking amazing it really is. The lighting, textures and shadows are all combined masterfully. Love it even more now! Naomi sliding down the wall, Cindy whipping post bath hair around in the chair while backlit by giant window, the light slipping from mouth up to eyes perfectly timed to music and lyrics. So much greatness!

  14. adastraperaspera says:

    I remember Careless Whisper played constantly in gay bars in the mid-80s–even those out in the conservative U.S. midwest (yes, you could find little bars out in rural areas at that time, and of course in places like Oklahoma City, Kansas City and Lincoln, Nebraska). George’s music captured the juxtaposition of joy and heartbreak that coming out meant for me, at a time when “the careless whispers of a good friend” had a second meaning. It was a time when many of us hid our sexuality to avoid losing jobs and being abandoned by both friends and family. George didn’t come out officially as gay for many years, but he was always claimed as “one of us” by everyone I knew then.

  15. Kitty says:

    Linda Evangelista was so beautiful in this music videos.

  16. Adele Dazeem says:

    question: does anyone else besides me feel like they don’t make beauty like they used to? These women are sooo beautiful in this video it takes me back. I’m sure there had been some plastic surgery and such (it wasn’t THAT long ago!) but the lack of overinflated lips, ridiculous implants, etc and just raw beauty here is captivating. Maybe I’m emotional as I really really miss the 90s and hell any time other than the last year, but wow, that video is captivating. Kendall and that crew these days simply don’t compare.

    • Dhavynia says:

      You’re not alone, I don’t care how the models are popular these days there is no comparison.
      However, I saw the documentary and when they showed current Linda I was like WTF is wrong with her? Why was she so bloated?

    • slowsnow says:

      The other day I found myself excitedly showing this video to my teen-agers and actually listening mid-track to what I was saying: “these were the most beautiful women and everyone was excited to see them in a sort of intimate setting”.
      Ridiculous.
      My kids looked at me funny because I always told them that beauty and being photogenic is not really a personal accomplishment, just something you’re born with.
      Or get plastic surgery for.
      But because 4 models do, it doesn’t take away the beauty of a lot of models today who are just not, fortunately, in this 90′s trend of adoring “top-models”.
      There are plently of incredibly beautiful women out there to look at, and a lot of black and asian or latino types that make me, personally, happy to be in 2017 (despite the political crap we’re getting).

    • perplexed says:

      The models in that video were more physically imposing, I think. Maybe that’s what made them different.

      Cindy Crawford is listed as 5’9″ but she’s always seemed much taller. I assume her daughter is the same height, but as yet doesn’t have the same imposing stature.

      There was a brief period of time in the ’90s when models had some kind of gravitas even though they didn’t speak.

      I do think the models from before the 1990s like Cheryl Tiegs and Christie Brinkley and Bo Derek were extremely boring looking, however. Heck, I don’t even get why people liked Twiggy. Maybe the ’90s were an anomaly. Honestly, I’d rather look at a photo of Kendall Jenner than Cheryl Tiegs (Imo, the most boring looking woman of all time. Maybe Bo Derek comes 2nd).

  17. JCZ says:

    It was an iconic video but those male models were no match for dear George’s beautiful looks . He put together a very good doc., yes not much new for the fans and disappointed little of his current voice was in there ( probably due to ill health ) but good work nonetheless. LWP is a great album and I hope people that weren’t fans or hadn’t heard it in years will go back and listen and realize the talent he had. An artist that never really got credit and a good hearted man should be remembered.

  18. TQB says:

    I will now have Freedom stuck in my head all day and THANK YOU FOR THAT! Looks like the road to heaven… feels like the road to hell…

  19. Nancy says:

    I have long called that song one of the best pop songs ever recorded. I haven’t seen the documentary yet, but now when I watch the video it makes me so sad for George Michael, and for us to have lost him.

  20. Becki says:

    I grew up with these models & MTV!!! It is part of my history & I love it!!

  21. M.A.F. says:

    I started to watch it but then Outlander started so….

    Hopefully, I will catch it again.

    • anon says:

      EDIT: didn’t mean this a reply to MAF’s comment. I thought this would be a standalone.

      Anyway, George was truly talented and also gorgeous–that bone structure, those perfect features. He is missed.
      Not sure why Cindy messed so much with her lips. In that last photo she doesn’t look unattractive, but she looks so un-Cindy like. She now reminds me of someone else, but I’m blanking on the name.