Taylor Swift & Martin McDonagh talk about symbolism in Variety’s Directors series

Variety does an “actors on actors” series for the awards season, and they also do a “directors on directors” series. I remember when every outlet would just do “roundtables” with six or seven artists, but now the thing is one-on-one. Well, last week, Variety announced their pairings for their directors series. Keep in mind, these things are part of the whole awards-season blitz, and usually it’s a combo of different experiences and backgrounds, with the main similarity being “they both have awards-buzzy films out.” Well, they paired Martin McDonagh with Taylor Swift. I cannot. In general. No disrespect to Taylor – she’s directed several of her music videos and she’s done an okay job… for a music video director. But she has not directed a full-length film. She is not part of some awards-season conversation as a feature director. McDonagh wrote and directed The Banshees of Inisherin, and he’s already won an Oscar and been nominated for several more.

On Tuesday, Variety finally released the video. I’ll give them both some credit – McDonagh didn’t pitch a fit about being paired with Taylor. He takes her seriously as an artist and a visual artist and he describes himself as a fan. Taylor takes it all very seriously. She feels like the one moving the conversation forward and she talks a lot more than him. It ends up working in a weird way – they both buy into the idea that this is completely natural and normal.

Yeah. I won’t insult either of them. Taylor does say that she was invited to one of the premieres of Banshees and she’s clearly a big fan of that movie. It works on that level – Taylor being sent to interview a director she admires. But overall, I don’t know – it’s a stunt and it worked in the sense that this will probably be the most-watched Variety Director-on-Director video.

IG courtesy of Variety, photos courtesy of Backgrid.

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9 Responses to “Taylor Swift & Martin McDonagh talk about symbolism in Variety’s Directors series”

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  1. Case says:

    I’m consider myself a big fan of Taylor’s music. But her very clear ambition to go from basic music video director to Oscar Winning Director Taylor Swift rubs me the wrong way (she’s been campaigning her All Too Well video as a “short film” for the Oscars). I love movies, and I love that she’s getting into them, too and will be directing her own feature-length film soon. But it feels like she’s doing it for the accolades that she feels she just deserves because everyone claps for her whenever she does anything, more than for the sake of the art.

  2. SH says:

    Things tend to make sense when all the cards are on the table. This series is just a PR exercise for everyone and in this case Searchlight gets move coverage for Martin and his film than they could have with any established director. At the same time Searchlight and Taylor are using this opportunity to have her talking about directing on the record so they have to do less work when it comes time to promote her feature film with Searchlight.

  3. HeatherC says:

    I find her overrated in all the areas. But hey, good for her if she can use her influence, marketability and star power to get what she wants whether she’s actually qualified/talented or not. Men have been doing it for years (meaning always) so I can’t even side eye her doing this for herself.

    • maisie says:

      Yeah, but let’s be honest: the DP, the 1st assistant director, the script supervisor are the ones who are actually going to direct Tay-Tay’s “ever so serious” film (and the film editor will try to piece it into something coherent). At best she might end up with a Don’t Worry, Darling (from an actress who could not direct); at worst she’ll be the Madonna of her generation (“I’m a multi-hyphenate: singer-songwriter-musician-music producer-ACTRESS-screenwriter-film producer-film DIRECTOR-STAR! and don’t you EVER forget it!”). The latter can’t come soon enough. Here’s hoping for production meltdowns and marketing debacles which will make Olivia Wilde’s mishegoss look like Sesame Street.

  4. Kebbie says:

    The roundtables are The Hollywood Reporter and they still happen. This is just what Variety does.

  5. Stephanie says:

    You’re missing a fun gossip connection – his partner is Phoebe Waller-Bridge, whose Fleabag Taylor has stated she’s a fan of and I believe she saw a live production of it? I’m pretty sure they’ve also socialized before, maybe even couples double date though I don’t have any specific times in my head.

    • maisie says:

      I would have loved to be a fly on the wall at McDonagh and Waller-Bridge’s conversation after a “social occasion” with Swift. I’m surprised Swift understood even a second of Fleabag or especially Fleabag 2. Sure Waller-Bridge and McDonagh were too.