How Taylor Swift Brought A ‘Ridiculous, Fantasized’ Version Of Toxic Masculinity To ‘The Man’

Taylor Swift‘s music video for “The Man” came out late last month and we’re still talking about it. If you’ve seen it, you know why. Not only was the pop star’s transformation into an arrogant, self-absorbed businessman absolutely uncanny, but she also directed it. And today (March 10), the “Lover” songstress opened up about the “incredible” and “hilarious” experience in a brand new behind-the-scenes video.

Swift kicked things off by explaining how and why she decided to take things into her own hands and direct the video herself. “I wanted to use a female director, but it just so happened that I couldn’t really get it done in time with anybody else ’cause everybody’s busy.” And if you’re wondering who’s too busy to make time for Taylor Swift, well, we’re just as confused as you are.

Fortunately, Swift had a clear vision of what she wanted “The Man” video to be like, and so she proceeded with the help of assistant director Rodrigo Prieto. “It just was the easiest and quickest way to get this video done the way that I wanted to do it,” she said. “Rodrigo, who is Scorsese’s most recent favorite DP, has been the most incredible person to work with. I cannot believe my luck.”

From there, things quickly fell into place. “This shoot was so hilarious because I would just tell the actors what was going on and how I wanted them to react and we would just roll,” she said. And based on the behind-the-scenes footage of the models in the yacht scene, the onlookers at the park, and the buddies at the bar, the actors really took Swift’s direction and applied it to their performance.

In addition to being entertaining, “The Man” video had some important messages regarding toxic masculinity. But even Swift says that everything was supposed to be funny and exaggerated. “With this video I wanted to show the heightened version of how the world reacts to someone who’s male, hot, rich, young, cocky,” she said. “I wanted to show how there’s, like, immediate approval and benefit of the doubt given. And I wanted to show it in a really ridiculous, fantasized way.”

Now that most of us have rewatched the video upwards of 10 times, it’s safe to say that Swift succeeded. But the video wasn’t just a success because it was entertaining and eye-opening; it was also a success because the pop star challenged herself and enjoyed every second of it. “There’s just so many incredible memories and so many hilarious experiences all packed into three days,” she said. “I had the best time.”

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