Taylor Swift's song "Mastermind" was inspired by "Phantom Thread"

Taylor Swift calls herself a "mastermind" — Time named her its 2023 Person of the Year, after all — but the idea for her "Midnights" song came from a surprising movie Movie. In the outlet's Dec. 6 cover story, her first interview in four years, the singer revealed that "Mastermind" was inspired by the Oscar-winning film "Phantom Thread."

As writer Sam Lansky points out, Swift subtly acknowledges the motivations behind her machinations and plans during the song's memorable bridge.

Breaking the "mastermind"

“No one wanted to play with me when I was little,” she sings. “So from then on I plotted like a criminal / To make them love me and make it look effortless / For the first time I felt the need to confess / I swear I was just being mysterious and Machiavellian Because I care."

Swift revealed the lyrics were inspired by the ending of the 2017 film In particular , she said her reaction to being seen as calculating has changed over time. "Remember the last scene?" she said. "I thought, wouldn't it be funny to have a lyric about being calculated? It was like a dagger thrown at me, but now I take it as a compliment."

The ending of Phantom Thread

Shot in 2018 by directors Paul Thomas Anderson, Daniel Day-Lewis and Vicky Cripps. John Phillips/Getty Images Entertainment/Getty Images

Phantom Thread stars Academy Award winner Daniel Day-Lewis as fashion designer Reynolds Woodcock, who finds a new muse in young waitress Alma (Vicky Kreps). Their relationship soon became romantic and later became obsession.

Reynolds lashes out at Alma for disrupting his meticulous routine with a romantic dinner, then she poisons his tea, forcing Alma to nurse him back to health, and Reynolds discovers a deeper love for his caregiver. like.

In a shocking finale, Alma tells Reynolds that she poisoned his food because she wanted him to become weak and vulnerable enough to rely on her—a fate he willingly accepted.

Phantom Thread was nominated for six Oscars, including Best Picture and Best Actor for Day-Lewis, and ultimately won for Best Costume Design.