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Bretman Rock co-stars with Paris Hilton in a new Y2K-inspired Klarna campaign — and he’s eyeing roles on even bigger screens.
“I’m tired of being on everybody’s phone, so I think it’s time to get Bretman Rock a movie,” the 24-year-old Philippines-born, Honolulu-based social media star tells The Hollywood Reporter. He’s set to release his first book, You’re That Bitch, on Feb. 14.
The content creator — who is represented by UTA and boasts a combined 51 million followers across YouTube, Instagram, TikTok, Twitter and Snapchat — and Hilton highlight the retail platform’s flexible payment options and other shopping features in two whimsical videos helmed by music video director Tanu Muino (who has worked with Harry Styles, Cardi B, Lizzo, Lil Nas X and others). The short films and stills will officially debut Feb. 27 on Hilton and Rock’s social media accounts and across digital, broadcast and OOH advertising platforms.
In the videos, Hilton wears a bead- and fringe-embellished emerald green velvet tracksuit, nodding to her blingy aughts-era Juicy Couture uniform. The duo also filmed a cheeky behind-the-scenes “hot or not”-style game examining which 2000s trends are “smooth or not smooth.” (Watch the video and ad campaigns below.)
Rock (née Bretman Rock Sacayanan Laforga) is a global ambassador for Klarna, which released a Y2K fashion and shopping trends report to celebrate its 2000s-inspired campaign. Among the findings: 27 percent of survey respondents were “nostalgic for indoor malls and shopping centers,” nearly half said that Y2K fashion is better than today’s styles and more than half want “fashion-forward sweatsuits and loungewear” should return.
“One thing that I really like about Klarna — and I’m only saying this because we recently just used it because I’m going to the Philippines soon — is that they will tell you everything about your purchase,” Rock adds. “And being the environmentally-friendly bitch that I am, I like how they’re very aware of airline and hotel emissions. It was just like really interesting when I got the invoice, it also said, this is how much you’re burning, bitch.”
Sitting in a midcentury-inspired ball chair in his bedroom (which he once described as an “alien superstar sex dungeon“) at his home in Hawaii, Rock recently caught up with THR over Zoom before jetting off to the Super Bowl, which he’ll attend with Fenty Beauty to watch its superstar founder perform at the Apple Music Halftime Show.
“It’s my first Super Bowl ever. I don’t even know who the fuck is playing this year,” he jokes. “I think the question is, what are my Rihanna plans this year? What I’ve been thinking about a lot is what is she going to sing, what is she open up with?”
Keep reading for more from our conversation, including what it was like working with Hilton, how First Lady Michelle Obama is “the reason why I’m hot and sexy today,” the best fashion deal he’s ever gotten, the oversized bottle that gets him drinking enough water and more.
What was it like working with Paris Hilton? What crossed your mind when you found out you’d be co-stars?
When I first found out that I was working with miss Paris Hilton, I was watering my garden. My manager was like, ‘We’re filming with Klarna … it’s with Paris Hilton.’ I was like, ‘Not miss Y2K queen herself, bitch!’ I literally was freaking out, I stopped everything that I was doing. I had to gather myself. And then the day came, and we had our trailers next to each other, I was like, ‘Oh my god, girl, I really fucking made it!’ I imagined her as untouchable, but she’s so human, she’s actually so real. On every take, she’d remind me, ‘Just breath, just breathe,’ even though [she was] the one forgetting her lines! It was so fun, going back and forth, I thought I was going to be more nervous talking to her.
Did she give you any advice on business, fashion or beauty?
I think if she did, I was probably blanking out too much and just staring into her eyes. Honestly one of the biggest things that I learned on set was that I could ask for a mirror right in front of me. Every scene we were in, there was a mirror in front of her so she could see herself. Apparently, it’s a Paris Hilton thing, every time she has a photo shoot, she would ask for a whole-body mirror so she knows what she looks like the whole time. I could have done that my whole entire career. But now if I can and I want to be extra, I’ll ask for a full-body mirror. I just didn’t think it was something you could ask for!
Since the Klarna campaign is Y2K-themed, are there any fun aughts trends that you’ve rediscovered or want to play around with?
I’m not talking about on me for sure at all; I love my eyebrows. I am obsessed with the girls with thin eyebrows who look good and rock it. I’m just so jealous. That is such a look, it’s giving me Bride of Chucky fantasy, vintage glamor shots and vintage makeup ads. When people rock it and like, look good in it, you can’t tell that bitch nothing. Thin brows are coming back.
But proceed with caution, I’m not saying do it. Try the TikTok filters first with the thin brows. You don’t want to be like my aunties today who are like, “Girl, don’t do it. We all did it in the 2000s and we’re all growing it back now.” But now they’re happy about it ’cause it’s back. But if it doesn’t come back in 10 years, was it really ever a trend?
The Super Bowl is this weekend. Do you have any plans for the big game?
Are you kidding me, do I have Super Bowl plans? This is the only year I have Super Bowl plans. I’m going with Fenty Beauty, and I’ll be watching miss Rihanna perform. It’s my first Super Bowl ever. I don’t even know who the fuck is playing this year! You know what I’ve been thinking about a lot is what is she going to sing, what is she open up with?
I’m just excited to [plan] what I’m going to wear. I got my nails done, I got these little blue wave tips, so maybe I’ll wear something island-y inspired.
That will be so exciting to see Rihanna’s big comeback show.
I’m gonna cry. It’s also been so fun because every time I click on Apple Music it’s just her [I see]. And I feel like every day, the past couple of weeks now, I’ve been going through my Rihanna eras and listening to Music of the Sun with “Pon de Replay” and then work my way up to Anti.
[Rock pulls out a one-gallon water bottle to drink] Wow, we love your giant water jug! You’re so good at drinking your water.
We’re at 3 p.m. now, so I’m ahead of the time. It’s a gallon a day. I used to suck at drinking my water, but now I drink a gallon a day. I’ve been doing so good. It cleared up my skin, honestly.
Where did you get it?
Just go on Amazon! Look up “gallon water bottle.” I don’t like my water cold, I like it room temp, so I just keep it in this. But there’s Hydro Flask [size] for it.
Speaking of must-haves, what are some priceless items in your closet right now?
One of my favorite things that I use Klarna for is Etsy. And one of my favorite things about Etsy is that everything there is custom-made. One thing that’s in my closet that I’m really obsessed with are these headphone cups that you put on your Apple AirPods. I found this knitter that makes custom headphone cups. I had to ship it to my L.A. address, otherwise, I would show it to you.
I also have some vintage [Jean Paul Gaultier] and Chanel shoppers, those are my favorite things. But rest in peace, miss Vivienne Westwood — I would have to say the priceless things are my Vivienne Westwood corsets. I love fairies, and I thought I was going to be a ballerina when I grew up. As a kid, corsets were something that I was obsessed with and obviously, Vivienne Westwood is the quintessential corset queen. They’re all broken, there are wires coming out of them, but I just have to keep them because they’re Vivienne Westwood.
What’s the best deal you’ve ever gotten?
I went to Nordstrom Rack one time and I found these Saint Laurent boots — I promise I’m going somewhere with this — one of the sizes was eight-and-a-half and [the other shoe] was eight. And the box also didn’t have a barcode. I got the whole boot for 10 cents. When I tried them on, it turned out they were the same size. They just had different labels on the bottom. So yeah, I got YSL boots for 10 cents because they forgot to label it.
You’ve been creating content since 2012. Do you have your eye on Hollywood at all?
You know, filming the commercial with Paris was really fun and I love being on sets. If there’s anything I realize about these blessings that my job gave me, it’s that Bretman Rock belongs on sets and maybe on a bigger fucking screen. I’m tired of being on everybody’s phone, so I think it’s time to get Bretman Rock a movie. Girl, my ass is too fucking fat to be on an iPhone!
Just as long as it’s not a jungle survivor movie, right? You have experience with that now.
No, that ran its course. We did it. I can check it off my list! I would love to experiment with like script work, I would love to start acting. I may or may not be hinting that I already am working on it, but I would love to explore more of what Bretman Rock has to offer because I think it just doesn’t end at me making beauty videos and me trying out different fruits on TikTok, I think doesn’t end there for me. What’s next? Everything is next.
Who would you love to work with?
I want it all! But honestly, someone who I look up to, and I’m not comparing myself to her at all, is Quinta Brunson. She started off at Buzzfeed. I just want to sit down and ask, ‘How do you do this?’ I would just like to pick her brain. I also love Issa Rae.
But to answer your question and I would drop everything for, I’m honestly shooting in the dark now, but I would love Mrs. Michelle Obama. That woman raised me, she’s the reason why I’m hot and sexy today. When she told me to work out in fifth grade [with her Let’s Move! campaign], I was doing every presidential workout. I owe everything to Michelle Obama. Even the fact that I wrote a book is because of Michelle Obama.
Besides your book launch, do you have any exciting Valentine’s Day plans?
I’ll be in L.A. [after the Super Bowl], so I guess I’ll be spending my Valentine’s Day on the plane. I’m into pilots so maybe I’ll be in somebody’s cockpit!
This interview has been edited and condensed for clarity.
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