Olivia Rodrigo opens up about sis’ing down with her idol Taylor Swift, crying at a Lorde show and learning how to parallel park in a new cover story in V Magazine conducted by breakout Saturday Night Live star Bowen Yang. The comedian-actor, who famously sent up Olivia’s breakthrough hit “Drivers License” on the show in a sketch, covered a lot of ground in the chat, but what he really just had to know was: What is it really like to be pals with Tay?
“I’ve really just looked up to her since I was very young. I think her writing every single one of her songs was a big inspiration for me,” said Rodrigo, who has mentioned she “just about died” when she read Swift’s reaction to her breakout success earlier this year. “I take songwriting the most seriously out of any career that I have. It’s just so important to me. And I think that’s sort of the same with her. She’s just obviously brilliant at it. And it’s just so cool to also be in a place in my career where people who I’ve looked up to for a really long time suddenly become my peers. That’s such a crazy thing that I still haven’t wrapped my head around.”
To be honest, 18-year-old Rodrigo said she’s still the “biggest fangirl” and finds it hard to believe what her life has become. Like, not only is she friends with TSwift, but that White House visit in July? Also insane. The pop-in at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave., during which Rodrigo encouraged young Americans to get the COVID-19 vaccine, also included some face time with President Biden’s chief medical advisor, Dr. Anthony Fauci.
“I am a fangirl for Dr. Fauci. Hell yeah,” she said of the coronavirus commando. “I’m stanning him. He’s incredible. I was so starstruck to meet him. It was crazy.”
Of all the mind-spinning experiences Rodrigo has had over the last year, she said the White House visit was the most surreal. “The White House, is incredible. You just walk into this place with so much history and it’s just a museum,” she told Yang.
“And they’re like, ‘Oh, there’s George Washington’s sword over there.’ And I’m like, ‘Oh my God. This is just out there for me to see. That’s crazy.’ It was incredible and obviously I went for a really great cause. It’s so important that people at my age are getting vaccinated and it was really awesome that they lent me their platform. And I lent mine … It was a really meaningful moment for me. And, obviously, I got to meet the president of the United States.”
Rodrigo, of course, also answered the requisite auto-related question, with Yang wondering if she knows how to parallel park. As it turns out, she does and recently did the deed on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles. But when Yang revealed that in order to do it safely, you need to leave one and a half times the length of your car, Rodrigo quipped, “Math and parking are not my strong suits. That’s not my thing.”
Yang also asked if Rodrigo has to re-live her heartbreak every time she sings a song off Sour, and Olivia said what’s done is done. “Honestly, no, I don’t feel that way anymore,” she said. “I don’t feel that sort of heartbreak and betrayal, at least not as acutely as I used to feel it. And I remember after ‘drivers license’ came out, I had been feeling so sad and insecure for so long.”
She said her breakthrough hit was the first song she wrote, and after it topped the Billboard charts, she was, of course, driving around listening to it and crying, thinking, “’Oh my God, I’m so proud.’ This is such a sad song, but it feels so euphoric for me. And I’m so happy. I feel so proud of myself and how far I’ve come,” she said. “And really, those songs are just like a reminder of that and that journey that I’ve gone through. So I don’t get sad listening to it anymore.”
As long as she was full fan-girling, Rodrigo also recalled the time she went to see “Solar Power” singer Lorde at the Staples Center in L.A. with her friends and just wept. “She just created this world that we all stepped into and for an hour and a half or two hours, or however long the show was, we were just in this world and we were feeling everything together,” Rodrigo said of the show.
“Like 10,000 people were just feeling the exact same emotions as each other. And I just remember being like, ‘That’s such a magical experience.’ I wanna be that type of artist who can really cultivate these feelings on such a large scale. So, hopefully, that’s what I’ll do when I go on tour.”