That’s Janeane Garofalo, star of the critically acclaimed film “The Truth About Cats and Dogs,” in Cowboy Junkies’ video for “Angel Mine,” the second track from their album “Lay It Down.”
According to Nigel Dick, who directed the video, it was mutual admiration that made Garofalo’s appearance in the video possible: “She really wanted to do it because she loves Cowboy Junkies so much.”
Dick said of Garofalo, “She’s a sweetheart — probably the most unpretentious movie star I’ve ever worked with.”
For Dick, a music video pioneer whose first project was producing a clip for the English ska band Madness in 1980, that’s quite a statement.
So, too, is his ranking of Cowboy Junkies as “the lowest-key band I’ve ever worked with, remarkably so. They’re not about wailing guitars and waving their heads about and screaming. And they don’t like to ‘act’ in their videos. They’re loathe to do anything that is ‘acting.'”
So while the band played in the entryway of Los Angeles’ El Rey Theater, Garofalo portrayed the cashier in the ticket booth.
“It’s an allusion to ‘Cats and Dogs’ but without the gag of using footage in the video,” explains Dick, who adds with a laugh that during the one-day shoot “there were no drive-by shootings, no serial autograph-hunting fans; it was a remarkably ordinary day.”
As the clip unfolds, Garofalo’s character performs small but touching acts of random kindness — giving money to a bag lady (after sharing a moment of mutual lipstick application), taking the hand of a lost child.
“Most artists prefer directors to color their songs with their own pictures rather than literally translate the lyrics,” Dick said. “I tried to take a general view of ‘Angel Mine’ but also not attempt too much subtlety.”
Toward the conclusion of the video, a teen-ager approaches the ticket booth with a $50 bill. Unable to make the requisite change, the cashier offers him free admission.
“The irony is that the theater hasn’t made enough money to have change for a fifty,” Dick points out. “All day the woman selling tickets has done favors for people, and she hasn’t made a buck. That’s the way a day can go in life.”