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Taylor Swift Reacts to Penn Badgley Using Her Song ‘Anti-Hero’ to Make a Joke About His ‘You’ Character

Penn Badgley Debuts on TikTok With Taylor Swift-Themed Nod to His You Character 2
Penn Badgley Marion Curtis/StarPix/Shutterstock


Antiheroes unite! Penn Badgley hopped on a social media trend and used a Taylor Swift song to make a joke about his character on You.

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In the 35-year-old Gossip Girl alum’s Monday, October 24, TikTok post — his first ever on the platform — he runs away from an unseen villain as Swift’s song “Anti-Hero” plays. After opening his front door, he sees himself standing outside, dressed as his murderous character from the series, Joe Goldberg. “It’s me,” the actor, as Goldberg, lip syncs. “Hi,” the real Badgley replies, waving reluctantly. Mouthing the words to the pop single, Goldberg points to himself and says, “I’m the problem, it’s me.”

Penn Badgley Debuts on TikTok With Taylor Swift-Themed Nod to His You Character 3
Taylor Swift Chris Chew/UPI/Shutterstock


Swift, 32, approved of the interpretation of the track, writing, “OMG!!!! 🤩, ” in the comments. The Grammy Award winner — who released her newest album, Midnights, on Friday, October 21 — has challenged her fans to a YouTube Shorts contest based on the “Anti-Hero” music video.

“The #TSAntiHeroChallenge is all about acknowledging and celebrating the traits that make each of us truly unique and showcasing one’s true self in a FUN way,” a blog post published by YouTube reads, encouraging entrants to display “an anti-heroic trait” such as “always grabbing the last slice of pizza.”

In a video shared to Instagram earlier this month, the “Delicate” singer described the Midnights lead single as “one of my favorite songs I’ve ever written.” She went on to explain how personal the message of the song is to her.

“I really don’t think I’ve delved this far into my insecurities in this detail before. You know, I struggle a lot with the idea that my life has become unmanageably sized. … Not to sound too dark, but I struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person. But don’t feel bad for me. You don’t need to,” she said.

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The Pennsylvania native added, “This song is a real guided tour throughout all the things that I tend to hate about myself.”

Penn Badgley Debuts on TikTok With Taylor Swift-Themed Nod to His You Character 4
Penn Badgley in ‘You.’ JOHN P. FLEENOR/NETFLIX


With her latest release, Swift broke the Spotify record for most-streamed album in a single day. “How did I get this lucky, having you guys out there doing something this mind blowing?!” the Folklore musician wrote via Twitter of the milestone. “Like, what even just happened??!?!”

The “All Too Well” artist revealed how Midnights came together with her longtime collaborator Jack Antonoff. “We’d been toying with ideas and had written a few things we loved, but Midnights actually really coalesced and flowed out of us when our partners (both actors) did a film together in Panama,” she wrote via Instagram on Friday. “Jack and I found ourselves back in New York, alone, recording every night, staying up late and exploring old memories and midnight’s past.”

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Swift and Joe Alwyn, who cowrote the song “Sweet Nothing” on Midnights, first went public with their relationship in May 2017. Antonoff, 38, for his part, has been linked to Margaret Qualley since they were spotted kissing in New York City in August 2021. They seemingly confirmed their engagement via Instagram in May.

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