OFFSTAGE: Taylor Swift Isn't "Mean" at All, Director Says

(CMT Offstage keeps a 24/7 watch on everything that's happening with country music artists behind the scenes and out of the spotlight.)

Although Taylor Swift's new single, "Mean," brilliantly calls out someone who cruelly points out her flaws, video director Declan Whitebloom told me that the country singer was a pleasure to work with. He believes that Swift effortlessly embodies beauty and she has incredible taste in the audio as well as the visual. "After I wrote my treatment, her management called me to tell me she liked it, because it was so evocative of the one already in her mind," Whitebloom said in his charming British accent. "We got on really well. It's rare when you connect with an artist that quickly, but we share a quirky, offbeat sense of humor." They must have been on the same page, because from the way Whitebloom described the video, conventional it ain't. "She was keenly involved in writing the treatment, casting and wardrobe. And she stayed for both the 15-hour shooting days, even when she wasn't in the scenes," he told me. They shot it last month at the Orpheum Theatre in Los Angeles, with a big cast, period costumes and about nine different sets. Whitebloom talked about vignettes from all different time periods, from the vaudevillian to kind of an O Brother, Where Art Thou? type of scene. "It's going to be almost like watching a Broadway show," he promised. "You may even need to watch it several times to take it all in." It sounds like Swift does almost everything in the video, but what I'm most looking forward to is seeing her play the ganjo. And asking over and over, "Why you gotta be so mean?"

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