Director Joseph Kahn Shares Secrets Behind Taylor Swift's Most Iconic Music Videos (Exclusive)

Taylor Swift is “100 percent committed” to whatever she does. 

That’s what director Joseph Kahn told ET’s Katie Krause while chatting about some of the pop star’s most iconic music videos — and how one in particular inspired his new film, Bodied. 

“It’s really phenomenal to watch,” Kahn confessed of partnering with Swift. “I think that’s why she’s so successful, because she is willing, one, to take the video seriously and put all the effort she can into it.”

“It’s surprising when you work with her, she’s not like a big superstar like, making you wait on her nails. She’s just sitting on a chair patiently waiting for you to set up the shot… So, it’s incredible to see,” he added. 

Kahn is responsible for many of Swift’s hit music videos, like “Blank Space,” “Bad Blood,” “Wildest Dreams,” “Out of the Woods,” “Look What You Made Me Do,” “…Ready for It?” and “Delicate” — though he told ET that his relationship with the singer has become quite collaborative. 

“When it comes down to some of the deeper messages,” he noted of Swift’s jam-packed “Look What You Made Me Do” video, “those are all Taylor.”

While Kahn found it hard to pick one of the hidden messages in the video as his favorite, the video’s ending — featuring many versions of Swift — clearly sticks out to him. 

“That was just for that one particular video,” he revealed of the concept. “I think that entire thing came from a discussion, we were trying to figure out how to end the video. Because we had this very big, elaborate video, as you saw, but we just couldn’t figure out an ending and then we suddenly decided, ‘You know what? It’d be cool if all the Taylors talked to each other.’ And that was it, really.”

Another one that sticks out to the director is Swift’s “Wildest Dreams” video

“We did the ‘Wildest Dreams’ video for Taylor Swift, where I was shooting in New Zealand and I had two helicopters fly me and Taylor around to the top of a mountain, where she had to walk barefoot on the mountain, so that’s probably my hardest shot,” he confessed. “I guarantee you, we’ve had human beings walk on mountains that no one ever had before.” 

It was the video’s African-set scenes that sparked controversy however, as critics accused the singer of romanticizing white colonialism. Kahn spoke up against his critics, and the headlines surrounding the video ended up inspiring his film, Bodied

“[Swift] is so much more mature than me. As a filmmaker, I’m just more hyper-emotional trying to construct these stories,” he explained. “I’m not a public face, I make things from behind the camera. So the ability to say things is more my wheel house without any sort of repercussion. I don’t have to go in front of a concert and sing in front of 100,000 people and make a video every once in a while.”

“I’m vocal, so I fought back a little bit,” he added of the “Wildest Dreams” criticism. “I justified it, because I felt like there was some accusations that were not correct, and no matter what I said, everyone was calling me names.”

“If you walk around town and one person came up to you and said, ‘You suck,’ you would go, ‘God, this hurts.’ But on social media, you have 100 people doing it, [and] it suddenly feels like the entire world is doing that,” he continued. “So that sort of feeling of being attacked for something you said was the pro-genesis of Bodied.”

Bodied, which centers on a grad student becoming a competitive battle rapper, was also produced by Eminem

“He’s been involved from the very beginning, even from the script stage, and he definitely had his creative input here and there,” Kahn said. “He told me when he finally the final product if he ever had to show his daughter a movie about battle rap, this would be the movie he would show.”

The film appeals to more than just Eminem’s daughter, Hailie. “I think people should watch Bodied because I think they’re going to get an experience that they won’t be able to see anywhere else, quite frankly,” Kahn said. “I will genuinely say that Bodied is the type of conversation that you will have behind closed doors but you’ve never seen these things happen in public.”

Bodied hits theaters on Nov. 2 and will be available on YouTube Premium on Nov. 28. 

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