Oh baby, what? The surprising secrets behind Britney Spears’ ‘…Baby One More Time’ video



“Grease” was the word — and the movie — that inspired the iconic video for Britney Spears’ debut single, “…Baby One More Time.”

Indeed, the same California high school where John Travolta’s Danny and Olivia Newton-John’s Sandy were “Born to Hand Jive” in the 1978 movie classic set the scene for Spears’ graduation to the top of the pop world.

“It was filmed at Venice Beach High School — the same place they filmed ‘Grease,’” Felicia Culotta — who was the then 16-year-old Spears’ assistant/chaperone — told The Post. 

“And we were just like, ‘Oh my gosh — nothing’s gonna get any better than this!’”

The classic clip that premiered on MTV in November 1998 — two months after the single’s release — was the brainchild of the teenager herself.

“The video was 100 percent her idea,” said Barry Weiss, who was then president of Spears’ label, Jive Records.

“The video was 100 percent her idea,” said Barry Weiss, who was then president of Spears’ label, Jive Records.

“That was a huge, huge vehicle that broke her on a global basis.”

Indeed, the timing couldn’t have been better: MTV’s “TRL” premiered just two months before Spears would deliver the video for her army of new fans.

Britney Spears’ “…Baby One More Time” video was filmed in the same Venice Beach High School where “Grease” was shot. Everett Collection

“The time that it was on during the day meant that kids would rush home from school and vote for their favorite video,” said Lori Majewski, host of SiriusXM’s “Fierce: Women in Music,” who was Entertainment Editor at Teen People magazine when Spears launched her recording career.

And those young fans would become instantly acquainted with Culotta, who made a last-minute appearance in the schoolroom scenes at Spears’ request.

“They said, ‘Oh, we don’t have a teacher,’” said Culotta. “And they’re all kind of looking around, and they’re like, ‘We don’t have a budget.’

Britney Spears’ assistant Felicia Culotta was a last-minute cast addition in the “…Baby One More Time” video.

“And so Britney said, ‘Fe will do it!’ I’m like, ‘OK.’ I literally went to the Salvation Army, which wasn’t far, and got this polyester suit and these old-lady brown shoes and a pair of glasses with no lens and just simply stood at the desk.”

But the ensuing hilarity required extra takes when Spears and Culotta couldn’t “stop ourselves from laughing,” she said.”I got reprimanded quite frequently … We were so excited.”

Now Culotta and Weiss are both producers of “& Juliet,” the Broadway musical featuring some of Spears’ classic hits.

Felicia Culotta is one of the producers of “& Juliet,” the Broadway musical featuring some of Britney Spears’ songs. WireImage

And the “…Baby One More Time” video — with Spears in all of her schoolgirl-garbed glory — will forever be what connected the young singer to a generation of girls 25 years after her same-named debut album dropped on Jan. 12. 1999.

“People made a big deal out of the fact that she was wearing a short skirt, that she tied up her shirt,” said Majewski.

“She was just behaving as any other teenage girl would.”



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