You Know Her From the "Lemon" Video, but Here's Everything Else You Should Know About Mette Towley

Getty | Daniele Venturelli

You may not know the name Mette Towley, but that's probably because you know her better as that girl from the "Lemon" music video who gets her head shaved by Rihanna. Though the 27-year-old dancer, model, and budding actress first gained fame from N.E.R.D.'s iconic video, she has been a member of Pharrell Williams's dance squad, The Baes, since 2014, and her career is now poised to take off in a major way. Here are some fun tidbits you should know about the insanely talented performer (and if you happen to know how to do the "Lemon" dance, please let us know. We're still struggling).


She Wore a Suit Printed With Cats For Her First Pharrell Audition

After Mette received a call from her agent on Super Bowl Sunday in 2014 letting her know that — in two hours — there would be an audition for Pharrell Williams's halftime performance at the NBA All-Star game, she immediately went to American Apparel and bought a cat suit. "It was literally printed with cats," she told Highsnobiety. "For some reason, I thought it was a good idea to wear that."


She Knew 4 Weeks in Advance That Rihanna Would Be Shaving Her Head

Mette first gained major attention as the star of N.E.R.D.'s viral music video "Lemon," during which Rihanna shaved her head in a motel room. Though she had a month to prepare herself for the scene, she found that when the time came, she was ready to say goodbye to her curls. "There were many different times where I thought about it because I basically had the same haircut from age 15 to 26," she explained to The Cut. "There were times where I wanted to switch up my look, but I think things just happen for the right reason at the right time, you know?"


Her First Tattoo Was Done by Justin Bieber's Tattoo Artist

Mette received her first-ever ink at Revlon's VMA preparty — right in the middle of the rotunda at Brooklyn's The Weylin — and it was done by none other than Jonathan "JonBoy" Valena, Justin Bieber's tattoo artist. The tattoo reads "sugar plum," though Mette has never publicly revealed the significance of the ink.


She Accidentally Turned Her Hair Blue in a Home-Bleaching Experiment

After getting her hair buzzed by Rihanna, Mette decided on a whim to buy a bleaching kit from CVS and start experimenting with her color. Though she loves ending up with a different shade of blonde each time she does it, one time the result was more blue than blonde. "For about three days — and this was where my at-home dyeing techniques went a little wrong — I did this shade of blue," she revealed to Coveteur. "I went from blonde to this shade of blue, and it turned into this interesting aqua, like this punk-rock kid."


She's Known Choreographer and Creative Director John Mark Since College

Duckwrth's "Boy" music video was choreographed and directed by Mette's best friend John Mark, though the idea of destroying the "damsel in distress" narrative was actually inspired by the choreography John had done for a runway show back when he and Mette were still students at the University of Minnesota. "He was so over Snow White," she said, explaining John's vision at the time, "so he did fight choreography and I walked into the Yeah Yeah Yeahs' track 'Heads Will Roll.' He just has this vision about what female protagonists in this performance space should feel like."


She Got to Fix the Train on J Lo's Dress at the 2018 Met Gala

While acting as Vogue's movement director for the footage shot at 2018's Met Gala by director Bardia Zeinali, Mette got up close and personal with many of the stars, including one of her inspirations, J Lo. "I fixed Jennifer Lopez's train [on her dress] as we were filming," she said. "That was iconic." J Lo must have been grateful, because now Mette has a spot in her upcoming Hustlers movie.


She First Fell in Love With Dance While Watching Her Uncle Perform

Though Mette's uncle is not a dancer himself, he is an artist in his own right, and he unknowingly helped 5-year-old Mette discover her passion for dance. As a kid, she watched her uncle accompany the dancers at the Baltimore School For Arts as a violinist, and her love for the art form took off.


Though She's Always Identified as Biracial, She Used to Feel Pressure to Identify With Just 1 Race

Growing up in Alexandria, MN, with a white father and a black mother, Mette knew others identified her as African American, and she felt pressure from them to identify with just one part of herself. "My mother always told me I might be more comfortable as African American," she said back in 2011, when she was just a sophomore in college. "It was hard to say I was mixed because I was so different."


She Really Wants to Break into Acting

Along with her role in Hustlers, Mette is also set to appear in Cats later this year, and she's eager to take on more acting projects, though she acknowledges that the LA dance scene and Hollywood are very different places. "As I investigate myself as an actor and enter that space, it will be interesting to see how much I'll have to adapt myself to different roles again and again," she explained to The New York Times.


Her Instagram Handle Is a Play on Her First Name and a Postmodernist Theory

According to Mette, her Instagram username, @mettenarrative, is a nod to the critical theory of the metanarrative, which says that an overarching story gives all context, meaning, and purpose to life. "One of the reasons why I call myself 'mette narrative' is because I believe in the post-structuralist idea that there is a human truth and a human connection we all share that we have yet to realize," she elaborated. "When I perform, my goal is to get connected to what that is."