Taylor Swift is one of the biggest pop stars in the world. From her self-titled 2006 debut album to 2019’s Lover, Swift’s fans have seen her popularity explode and her style evolve. Plus, of course, her love life has fueled constant rumors and speculation over the years.
But in addition to her personal life — and day job as a global music superstar — Swift has also quietly eased into acting. Although she has just a few credits to her name, the singer, as we recently learned, almost had a role in one of the biggest movie franchises in recent memory: the Twilight saga.
Taylor Swift’s acting career to date
Of course, music and movies have gone hand in hand since the early days of Hollywood. But Swift has mostly kept her acting efforts separate from her music. Sure, her elaborate music videos have an undeniable cinematic element to them. But Swift the actress didn’t really debut until a 2009 episode of CSI: Crime Scene Investigation.
Just a year later, the singer released her first movie, with a role in the ensemble romantic comedy Valentine’s Day. In that film, she notably shared the screen with Twilight‘s Taylor Lautner, whom she dated briefly during production. Until recently, Swift’s only other credits are a voice role in The Lorax, a 2013 episode of New Girl, and the 2014 film adaptation of The Giver.
In 2019, she made a brief but splashy appearance in director Tom Hooper’s Cats. For that film, Swift even co-wrote a Golden Globe-nominated song, “Beautiful Ghosts,” with composer Andrew Lloyd Webber. Though Cats was a notorious bomb, Swift is poised to recover with her 2020 documentary Miss Americana, which received a warm reception during its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival.
How Taylor Swift was almost in ‘Twilight’
Early in her acting career, Swift apparently made an effort to get cast in one of the Twilight movies. Chris Weitz, director of The Twilight Saga: New Moon, shared the story on a recent episode of Blank Check: Special Features, the Patreon-exclusive spinoff of the popular Blank Check podcast. While Weitz guested on the show to discuss Rogue One: A Star Wars Story — which he co-wrote — he brought up how Swift nearly ended up in his movie.
My agent said, “Listen, Taylor Swift is a huge Twilight fan. She would love to be in this movie.” She would be, like, an extra. Here’s the a**hole that I am: I was like, “I don’t know. I think that would throw from the movie too much seeing Taylor Swift. So I said no. Now I look back on it like “I could have been friends with Taylor Swift.” But I was like, “It’s going to throw from the movie about sparkly vampires and werewolves.” What an idiot.
At the time, seeing Swift pop up in Twilight could have distracted some moviegoers. After all, she was crossing into the mainstream pop charts around then with “Love Story” and “You Belong with Me.” Then again, Swift’s and Twilight‘s core audiences probably do overlap. So perhaps this was a missed opportunity to squeeze in a fun Easter egg for fans, a la Ed Sheeran’s Star Wars cameo.
‘Saturday Night Live’ brought her the closest
Swift never did get the chance to appear on-screen in a Twilight movie. But Saturday Night Live did give her the next best thing. During a 2009 “SNL Digital Short,” Swift starred in a parody of Twilight called Firelight.
Doing her best Kristen Stewart impression, Swift plays Stella, a high-schooler who falls for new student (and teenage Frankenstein), Phillip (Bill Hader). The three-minute sketch pokes fun at Twilight, while also giving Swift the chance to tap into her own fandom of the series.