Taylor Swift Says It Was 'Exciting' to Reflect on 'Such a Formative Age' with 'All Too Well: The Short Film'
Taylor Swift's lyrics are often pulled from the pages of her diary, and "All Too Well (10 Minute Version)" and its accompanying short film were no exception.
Swift, 33, sat down with The Banshees of Inisherin director Martin McDonagh for the Variety Directors on Directors interview, and talked in-depth about her creative process behind All Too Well: The Short Film.
The "Anti-Hero" singer said the short film was a direct reflection of a heartbreak she endured in her early 20s, and that she's enjoyed the chance to revisit that period in her life.
"Emotionally, I was going through exactly what the short film depicts, and I think that time is such an incredible asset to use when we have these stories that are hard to tell in the moment," she said. "Because it's good if a story is hard to tell, that means it's incredibly emotionally potent, but it's impossible to tell it with perspective and truth if you're in it sometimes."
Michael Schwartz for Variety Taylor Swift and Martin McDonagh
Swift added that she found it "exciting" to reflect on that period of her life now that she's in her 30s, and that was something she focused on while directing her short film, which she released in November 2021.
"I think there's a moment when you're 19 or 20 where your heart is so, so susceptible to just getting broken, getting shattered and your sense of self goes out the window so quickly and it's such a formative age," she told McDonagh. "I wanted to tell that story, too, about sort of girlhood calcifying into this bruised adulthood."
All Too Well: The Short Film stars Dylan O'Brien and Stranger Things actress Sadie Sink as a couple whose relationship is on the fritz. The film is set to a new, longer version of Swift's fan-favorite song "All Too Well," which originally appeared on Red in 2012.
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Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Dylan O'Brien, Taylor Swift, Sadie Sink
Since its release last year, All Too Well has racked up a number of accolades for its Grammy-winning star, including best direction at the 2022 MTV VMAs, and is eligible to be nominated for Best Live Action Short Film at the upcoming 95th Oscars ceremony in March.
Searchlight Pictures announced last week that Swift will make her feature-length directorial debut with an original script she's written herself.
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Michael Schwartz for Variety Martin McDonagh and Taylor Swift
No further plot or cast details have been released, but Swift told McDonagh that her next project likely won't focus on a devastating breakup.
"I don't think I would go headlong into another heartbreak story because it's just, you know, just did that," she said. "It takes a lot out of you."