Taylor Swift has discussed her decision to cast Dylan O’Brien in her ‘All Too Well’ short film, revealing that the Maze Runner actor was her first choice.
Given the song’s popularity, Swift decided to write and direct a short film to go along with it, casting Sadie Sink and O’Brien in the starring roles.
In a new profile on O’Brien for Bustle, Swift shared a few words about the actor and why she cast him as a manipulative ex-boyfriend in All Too Well: The Short Film.
“Dylan was my first choice for the ‘All Too Well’ short film because he has that versatility I was looking for,” Swift wrote in an email to the publication. “I’d seen his work and heard nothing but wonderful things about him as a person. Ultimately I want to work with people who love what they do and come at it with enthusiasm, because that’s how I approach creating things too.”
She continued: “I had a feeling he would be great at ad libbing and adding nuance to his character, which enriched the story tenfold. He absolutely blew me away and I feel really lucky that I gained such a great friend from the experience too.”
Swift asked O’Brien to take on the role via a very long text message. The actor said the thing that surprised him most about Swift was her ability to cede control.
“For someone who’s that meticulous, she’s so trusting. Sometimes we’d do one take, which was so the opposite of neurotic,” he said of the shoot, which took place over two days in New York.
He then recalled a particular moment during the shoot, adding: “Everything was planned to be to music. But then when we played out that scene [with dialogue]. [Swift] immediately marched over and was just like, ‘This is it. I’m going to play this in the video.’ The confidence to just identify that in the moment on set and take in what we were bringing to it [shows how] she’s so sound with relationships and her instincts.”
Appearing on Charli XCX‘s Best Song Ever podcast, Bridgers also talked about first discovering Swift’s music via one of her guitar students when she was a “failed guitar teacher” in her teenage years.