Creative Voices

Instagram Sensation Lili Hayes Is ‘Good at Being Bad’

By Summer Wilson

Lili Hayes is a true original. A 71-year-old boss lady who sells clothes in LA’s garment district, she’s fluent in four languages, attends Shabbat services at her local synagogue every week, rocks Supreme hats and Cazal glasses like no one else, and is “always a little pissed.” Her son, Kevin Hayes, thinks she’s hilarious and wants to share her with the world. 

The younger Hayes is a director, editor, and band photographer, but his mom has always been his favorite subject. Kevin began filming his mom doing things around the house: dancing in her pajamas to hip-hop, yelling at telemarketers on the phone, mispronouncing words, and getting unhinged when he messes with her. His friends loved the funny videos and suggested that he post them on Instagram. People fell in love with Lili Hayes, and a loyal Instagram community formed.  

For photographer and director Kevin Hayes, Lili Hayes is not only his mother but also his muse and his star. “I’ve only wanted to work with my mom my whole life,” he says. “She’s genuinely the funniest person I’ve ever come across in my life. I’m still not immune.”

Kevin says, “I take editing seriously, and I think the story’s told within the edit. And that should be held in deep regard, but the acting is shitty. There’s always a high-low.”

Lili adds, “I have fun when I’m doing it, but then when I see what he does and he breaks it [edits it] in, like, one minute, I’m like, ‘Oh my God, we did it!’ But really he did it.”

“What makes her funny is the fact that she sucks. And I mean that in the most loving way in the world,” Kevin says. “She’s just good at being bad as an actress.”

We spent a couple days with Lili and Kevin Hayes, filming them as they re-created an iconic scene from the movie Scarface. Check out the video below, and visit Lili’s Instgram page for more.

Scarface contains plenty of swear words. The Hayes duo’s re-creation does, too. So this video may not be appropriate for all audiences!

April 15, 2019

Executive creative director: Dan Cowles

Director and  producer: Summer Wilson

DP: Colin McAuliffe

Gaffer: Clark Todd

AC: Dean Snodgrass

Sound: Ryan Agostino

Editor: Julien de Benedictis

Color correction and sound mix: Ibon Olaskoaga

Production assistant: Robert Rivers

Music: Templove