The 32-year-old Grammy winner dropped her 10th studio record, Midnights, on Friday, October 21, and simultaneously released a visual that she wrote and directed herself. “Watch my nightmare scenarios and intrusive thoughts play out in real time,” she tweeted of the “Anti-Hero” video on Friday, sharing photos from set.
The footage begins with Swift sitting alone at a kitchen table as a clock strikes midnight. She then becomes haunted by “all of the people that I’ve ghosted” — dressed in white sheets and sunglasses — before meeting a different version of herself at her front door.
“It’s me / Hi, I’m the problem, it’s me / At teatime, Everybody agrees,” she sings in the chorus. “I’ll stare directly at the sun, but never in the mirror / It must be exhausting always rooting for the anti-hero.”
As the video continues, fans are introduced to Swift’s future children who start to bicker at her funeral. Mary Elizabeth Ellis snaps a selfie during the service, while John Early looks bored beside her. Mike Birbiglia then gets up to read Swift’s will, teasing, “She’s laughing up at us from hell.”
The materialistic kids learn the pop star left them with nothing. “It’s … the worst,” Birbiglia warns his siblings. “She’s having [the beach house] turned into a f–king cat sanctuary.”
An outraged Ellis — wearing a dress worn by the “Cardigan” artist during her Fearless tour — shouts, “What?! Cats don’t even like the beach.”
Early presses for more details, reminding the others he “flew all the way here from Ibiza.” Ellis grabs the document and reads, “To my children I leave … 13 cents. P.S. there’s no secret encoded message that means something else. Love, Taylor.”
While the chaos ensues, Swift pops her head out of the casket and watches.
Before releasing Midnights — and a special extended version with seven bonus tracks — the Cats actress referred to “Anti-Hero” as one of her “favorite songs” she’s ever written. “I really don’t think I’ve dealt this far into my insecurities in this detail before,” she said in her “Midnights Mayhem With Me” TikTok series. “I struggle a lot with the idea that my life has become unmanageably sized. And that I, you know, not to sound too dark, but I just struggle with the idea of not feeling like a person. … I like ‘Anti-Hero’ a lot because I think it’s really honest.”
Scroll down to get to know the stars of Swift’s “Anti-Hero” music video: