Taylor Swift says she never intended to direct her own shorts, but the experience was “more rewarding than I could have ever imagined”.
The pop megastar discussed the process of making his short film for the hit song All Too Well with Oscar-winning director Martin McDonagh on Variety’s American series Directors On Director.
Stranger Things star Sadie Sink and Teen Wolf’s Dylan O’Brien starred in the nearly 15-minute video, which was also written by Swift.
McDonagh won the Academy Award for Best Live Action Short Film for Six Shooter in 2004 and received nominations for three other Oscars, including Best Picture.
His most recent film, The Banshees Of Inisherin, starring Colin Farrell and Brendan Gleeson, has already garnered critical acclaim, including a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture: Musical or Comedy.
Asked by McDonagh if she had always wanted to direct, Swift replied, “No, I always wanted to tell stories. I have always written stories, poetry, songs.
“And I think that just grew out of that storytelling. And the more I did it, the more I loved it.
Speaking about the video for her 2019 track The Man, she continued, “I wanted a female director to direct it.
“And the few people I contacted were thankfully reserved. We love when women work.
“So I was like, ‘I could do it, maybe.’ And when I realized, I just thought, ‘This is actually more fulfilling than I could have ever imagined.’
Swift said she’s never met Sink or O’Brien, but admired Sink’s “presence” while starring in Stranger Things.
“I thought, ‘She’s never been a romantic star and I wonder if she’d be interested in playing a young woman going through her first catastrophic, cataclysmic heartbreak.'”
The singer-songwriter won the coveted Best Video, Best Long Form Video, and Best Direction Gongs earlier this year at the 2022 MTV Video Music Awards for the music video.
The accomplishment helped her make history as the only solo artist to ever be honored with two Best Direction awards following her win at the 2020 awards show for The Man music video.
All Too Well: The Short Film also won Best Video and Best Long Form Video at the MTV Europe Music Awards (EMA) last month.
The full conversation between Swift and McDonagh can be read on Variety’s website.