Here's The Story Behind Those A-List Cameos In Taylor Swift's New Music Video

Taylor Swift performing in Brazil last year
Taylor Swift performing in Brazil last year Buda Mendes/TAS23 via Getty Images

You may not have noticed, but Taylor Swift has a new album out.

On Friday, Taylor unveiled her 11th album The Tortured Poets Department, which was swiftly (sorry…) followed by the news that the release was actually a double album, with 15 more songs than were previously announced.

As if all of that wasn’t enough to keep Swifties occupied for the weekend, Taylor also dropped the music video for lead single Fortnight, which features fellow chart-topper Post Malone.

In the clip, Taylor and Post Malone are seen exchanging lines of the song, with the Grammy winner even paying homage to her guest by recreating his iconic face tattoos.

But the Rockstar singer isn’t the only guest in the Fortnight music video.

Towards the end of the clip, Taylor finds herself on the receiving end of scientific experiments (in the style of Frankenstein, Poor Things or Lady Gaga’s Yoü And I video from over a decade ago), at the hands of doctors played by Post Malone, Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles.

And there’s good reason Ethan and Josh were selected for the video.

When Taylor first announced the title of her album The Tortured Poets Society, many people picked up on the similarities with the Oscar-winning film Dead Poets Society.

It makes sense, then, that Taylor would invite two of the film’s stars to appear in the music video for the album’s lead single, alongside its guest vocalist.

The cast of Dead Poets Society – including Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles – in 1989
The cast of Dead Poets Society – including Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles – in 1989 Touchstone/Kobal/Shutterstock

“I don’t like keeping secrets so that was hard,” Josh wrote in a follow-up Instagram post shared on Sunday, revealing he wasn’t even able to tell his own kids about the cameo until days before it debuted.

“Here [are] a couple of tortured old poets about to board an early flight to be pop stars for a day,” Josh wrote alongside a photo of himself and Ethan. “Been through a lot with this dude over the years, but safe to say this was a most memorable day.

“We were treated with such class by Taylor and her crew from beginning to end. What I’ll remember most was the laughter. There was a lot of it. Like we were 17 all over again.”

Ethan responded in the comments: “Hell yeah, Josh…. I think we should keep it rolling – like maybe Todd and Knox start appearing mysteriously in the background of all the world’s great poets!”

In an Instagram post of his own, Ethan wrote that it was “quite an honour” to appear in a Taylor Swift video.