Addison Rae, Candy Queen

Addison Rae, Candy Queen

By Ivan GuzmanJan 24, 2024

Addison Rae is like a Nerds Gummy Cluster personified. “I’m soft and sweet on the inside, but hard on the outside,” she says. “I want to keep my guard up so nobody can hurt me.”

In a new teaser, the TikTok and music star instructs a mystery guest on how to dance over Irene Cara’s iconic track “What a Feeling.” The commercial will be Nerds’ first ever Super Bowl placement, and it makes sense they would tap an energetic influencer like Addison Rae to be the face of the spot. “I grew up in the South, so I was always at sports games and Nerds ropes were my go-to at the concession stand,” she tells PAPER. “I’ve been a competitive dancer my whole life, so being able to combine so many of my favorite things into one campaign is surreal.”

Since releasing her long-awaited EP AR last year, Rae hasn’t stopped the hustle. She starred in the horror film Thanksgiving and has been cast in the live-action hybrid film Animal Friends alongside Aubrey Plaza, Ryan Reynolds and Jason Momoa. At this point, she’s a quadruple threat, but her core will always be dance. “As I’ve gotten to grow and work on new projects, it’s always nice to have this through line of dance,” she says.

For us at PAPER, Addison’s music is where it’s at. She’s notoriously known for her underground music taste, citing Arca as one of her favorite artists and even being paparazzi’d wearing SOPHIE and Björk merch. We had to ask her about it.

“There’s so much inspiration out there,” she says. “SOPHIE has some darker-sounding things, but they all have that [bubblegum pop] essence that I can’t get enough of. I just love that juxtaposition and diving into all of them.” Fingers crossed that this eclectic taste will impact more musical offerings from the 23-year-old superstar. “Creating things, envisioning things in my mind, and then bringing them to life is always the goal.”

The Nerds ad will air for 30 seconds during the second quarter of the NFL Super Bowl game on February 11. Stay tuned to see who the mystery star Addison Rae is coaching turns out to be.

Photography: Ferrara