On February 4 2003, filming for Madonna’s music video for American Life took place in Los Angeles with director by Jonas Åkerlund.
The casting call issued for the video sought the following:
Eastern European Man (30 – 60 yrs. old, Real people, THIN, interesting looking, great face, worn out looking, craggy). 4 Beautiful Models (drop dead gorgeous w. amazing legs and bodies). 10 soldiers (must have long hair and be willing to shave it for the video… good-looking, really good body). Hair stylist (male or female, any ethnicity, must be real hair stylists, think editorial type. Stylist (male or female, any ethnicity, 20’s, cool and interesting looking, think N.Y. 2 Babes (very voluptuous and buxom, bimbo types, b pin-up girls). Makeup artists (m or f, any ethnicity, a REAL makeup artist). 2 IRAQI kids (boys and girls, 4 – 7 yrs. old). African-American Male (35 – 50, THIN).
Åkerlund commented on the upcoming video to Swedish tabloid Aftonbladet:
“It’s great that Madonna gives me the trust to do this video. The song is super cool and aimed for the dance floors. I especially love that she gives me the trust to do the first single from the new album. There is a special feeling and ambition around the first single and a hell of lot of secrets. I had to sign a paper even before I got to listen to the song! The shooting will take 3 days.”
On December 2 2016, Madonna posted a photo of herself clowning around (and singing American Life) from the rehearsals for her Tears Of A Clown performance to be held later that night.
Here’s the press release for the event:
Madonna is hosting a special event at Art Basel Miami on December 2nd to benefit Raising Malawi. The event will take place at the newly opened Faena Forum, thanks to the generous support of Len Blavatnik and Alan Faena.
We hope you can join us for an evening of music, art, mischief and live performance in support of the organization’s latest project: The Mercy James Pediatric Surgery Hospital in Malawi, which was built with the help of donations coming from around the world during the past year!
Profits from the event, which includes an art auction and Tears Of A Clown live performance, will be used to fill the hospital with equipment, surgeons, medical personnel and to create and endowment for the years to come.
On June 11 2005, promo-only remixes of the American Life track Mother And Father peaked at # 9 on Billboard’s Hot Dance/Club Play chart in the U.S.
The chart placement was fueled by Peter Rauhofer’s “Re-Invention Remix” of the song, which was featured on his compilation album Live @ Roxy 4. His label *69 Records also issued a unsegued version of the remix on a scarce promo CD. Additional white-label remixes of Mother And Father by Johnny Rocks also surfaced, though it is unlikely that they had as much impact on the song’s chart placement.
It is believed that the remixes were initially commissioned for a proposed American Life remix album. The idea eventually devolved into the Remixed & Revisited EP, with no remixes of Mother And Father making the final cut.