The director of Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” music video has been so outspoken about the pop star, on Twitter and in the media, that he has almost become as infamous as the video he helped create. While promoting his satire film Bodied at the Toronto Film Festival, Joseph Kahn made time to speak to Variety about his frequent collaborator and offered insight into who the real Taylor Swift is.
With Swift portraying several versions of herself for her music video “Look What You Made Me Do,” it’s fair to have wondered which one of those is closest to the real-life Swift. Fans even started theorizing that the real Swift was the one who spray-painted the plane in the video.
But Kahn has the true answer about who Swift is for us.
“I mean, Taylor is Taylor,” Kahn said. “The most amazing thing about [her] is she’s so consistent in who she is. Her imaging may be changing depending on what the thematics of the art is that she’s producing, but the person remains the same. There’s a core person there that is really a fantastic human being and also someone that I really connect with on a creative level.”
Before “Look What You Made Me Do,” Kahn worked with Swift on the music videos for “Blank Space,” “Bad Blood,” “Wildest Dreams,” and “Out of the Woods,” so he is talking about Swift from experience. And, as he has been doing since “LWYMMD” came out, he also used his Variety interview to defend Swift from the haters.
“The biggest insult anyone throws at her is that she is manipulative,” Kahn said. “What does that mean? As an artist, because you know what clothes you want to wear, you know what edits you want to make, you know what the set-ups are, you know what the theme of every idea is, you know what your lyrics are. Is that manipulative or is that just being smart?”
So if you’re looking to know who the real Taylor is — at least according to Kahn — he wrapped it up by saying, “Bottom line: Great person, smart, an artist.”