This week, Taylor Swift dropped the celestial, trippy, and gorgeous video for "Lavender Haze" — the opening track of her critically acclaimed blockbuster album Midnights.
In the video, Laith Ashley was cast as Taylor's love interest and slayed the role.
In an interview with Elle, Laith said he was completely shocked when he got the opportunity to star in the video. "I thought it was a joke. I thought someone was trying to play a prank on me. I was like, 'You’re freaking kidding. She doesn’t know who I am. Why would she pick me to be in her music video?'"
Laith then talked about what it was like on set with Taylor as director. "While we were lying in bed waiting for action to be called, she filled me in on what my role would be. She made me feel included, as well as everyone else who was part of the party scene."
He said Taylor was super considerate of talent and even allowed them to see what was happening on the monitors while she directed. "She was literally showing us what we looked like. It was amazing. I’ve done other music videos before, and usually if you’re talent on someone else’s music video, and they have full control of it, they’ll look at the monitors," he said. "But she was really kind to take the monitor and bring it around to all of us and let us get a sneak peek of what it was going to look like. She was so sweet."
Laith also opened up about how important it was — especially as the love interest in the video — to respect Taylor's body and boundaries.
"I rewatched her with other love interests in previous videos, and I was just so afraid to touch her. Like, I know we’re acting, but I always say it’s the trans masculine urge to just be overly considerate of a woman’s body and her boundaries."
"So, I was nervous and awkward and smiling the whole time, because I was so nervous," he added.
Laith also made sure he asked about dance moves, carrying Taylor, and other interactions. "We were dancing with each other and spinning around, and I asked, 'Can I carry you?' And she said, 'Yeah, of course,' and she jumped on me. I asked, 'Can I move you around?' She was like, 'Go for it.' And I dipped her back and then back up, and we did that a couple times, and she was having a great time," he said.
"I was like, 'Great this is awesome, I hope it looks great on camera.' And they ended up using that part."
So glad they did, Laith. Great job starring in an incredible video. You can read his full interview with Elle here. And watch "Lavender Haze" here.