Taylor Swift doesn’t do interviews — or, at least, Taylor Swift hasn’t done interviews in a very long time. She doesn’t have to. She went several album cycles as the world’s biggest pop star without saying a damn thing to the media. But Swift is now gearing up to release a new album, and “ME!,” its first single, has not done the things that a Taylor Swift single is supposed to do. (Thanks to “Old Town Road,” “ME!” is the first Taylor Swift new-album-announcement single since 2010 that hasn’t shot straight to #1.) So now Swift is out there, promoting things, like an average superstar. This morning, she appeared on Ellen, doing her best to seem delighted to be there.
In four segments with Ellen DeGeneres, Swift doesn’t really reveal a whole lot, though she does weigh in on whether she washes her legs in the shower, which I guess has been a thing that people have been arguing about on Twitter lately. (Swift’s answer: Yes, she does, but only because shaving your legs counts as washing them.) She also says that she’s working on another music video, and, after some prodding, she invites Ellen DeGeneres to appear in it. And she says that her new album isn’t finished yet.
But in general, the interview is pretty unbearable! Swift seems like a tough hang right now. She condescendingly explains the concept of the Easter egg, as if everyone does not already understand it. She praises her “ME!” collaborator, Panic! At The Disco frontman Brendon Urie, by mentioning “his little dances.” She claims that she had native French speakers on the set of the “ME!” video because she “didn’t want to butcher the language of love,” and then she proceeds to butcher it. She says that her new cat is named “Benjamin Button, because it’s an incredible movie.” And during the Burning Questions segment, she says that her most rebellious teenage moment was “probably when I put Joe Jonas on blast on your show? That was too much!” It’s pretty rough! But if you like, you can watch the whole thing below.
There are two bright spots in that whole thing. First, Swift seems genuinely surprised when the audience applauds the mention of her album Reputation, as if she’s already internalized the idea that nobody liked that album. (It was pretty good!) And second, she mentions that she likes the Netflix movie Someone Great, which means she now empathizes with the plight of the music critic, or at least the idealized romantic-comedy version of the music critic. Welcome to our struggle, Taylor.