While the buzzy new Taylor Swift short film may have been inspired by Swift’s song, “All Too Well,” inspiration came from a different sad song for Sadie Sink while making All Too Well: The Short Film. Released on November 12, 2021, the project redefined Swift to the world as a capable and talented film director. Accordingly, the Variety interview series Directors on Directors recently featured Swift who revealed more about making it.
Taylor Swift only ever envisioned Sadie Sink in ‘All Too Well: The Short Film’
Following a special screening for All Too Well: The Short Film at the 2022 Tribeca Film Festival in June, Swift revealed that the female lead in her film was never going to be played by anyone but Sink. “I was writing it for Sadie,” Swift says in the interview (available via YouTube). “And if she would have said ‘no,'” Swift continued, “I just don’t know if I would have made the film.”
The project was extremely personal for Swift, as with most of her music. Set to her song “All Too Well (10-Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version),” it’s reportedly inspired by her relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal. Furthermore, the age difference between Him (played by Dylan O’Brien) and Her (Sink) in All Too Well: The Short Film matches that of Swift and Gyllenhaal.
Taylor Swift on directing Sadie Sink in ‘All Too Well: The Short Film’
In the Variety interview, Swift explains Sink’s process when getting into character for All Too Well: The Short Film.
“There was, you know, like screaming into pillows and stuff,” Swift tells Banshees of Insherin director Martin McDonagh. Sink also did “bodywork” to flush her skin and make it look as though she had been crying for a long period of time.
To allow her time to get into character, Swift says they would leave Sink alone on set and play a song that Sink claims “always makes her cry.” The song in question? “Savior Complex” by Phoebe Bridgers. It’s an ethereal-sounding, knife-to-the-heart kind of song about what it’s like to be in a relationship with someone with the titular affliction.
As noted by Variety, the man in the song (played by Paul Mescal in the accompanying music video) initially seems like someone that needs rescuing. But “it turns out he has some possibly predatory instincts that may make him more ripe for karma than compassion.” The perfect song for Sink in All Too Well: The Short Film.
Singer Phoebe Bridgers is joining Taylor Swift on The Eras Tour
And Sink is not the only Bridgers fan in the bunch. Speaking on Late Night with Seth Myers (available via YouTube), Swift says that Bridgers is one of her favorite artists. “If she sings it, I will listen to it.”
Swift’s appreciation for Bridger’s music has led to collaboration. The pair sang a duet together titled, “Nothing New” for Swift’s 2021 album, Red (Taylor’s Version). And now Bridgers will be joining Swift on The Eras Tour in 2023. The four-time Grammy-nominated Bridger is one of many accompanying Swift including Paramore, Haim, Gracie Owens, and more.