Some secrets are harder than others to keep. Imagine knowing you’re going to appear in a video that is likely to smash every record there is — and basically already has — and keeping that under wraps for months. That was the dilemma facing YouTube star actor/singer Todrick Hall, who had to keep a lid on his cameo as a backup dancer in Taylor Swift‘s “Look What You Made Me Do” video for nearly four excruciating months.
“It was the hardest secret ever to keep, but I know how I am as an artist and when I’m creating stuff, even if it’s just on my YouTube channel, I don’t want anyone to tell anything, I don’t want anybody to post a Snapchat or a picture,” Hall told INSTANT about the video he he said was shot in May. “I think it speaks volumes of what type of a person Taylor is as a human being, as an artist, that she was able to get all of these people on a set, shoot an epic — what I don’t even want to call a music video because it’s more of a movie at this point — and get them to not say anything. People just really were excited and I was more excited to see the reaction of people online than to tell people. So I didn’t even tell people that were very, very close to me; my own family didn’t know.”
“Look” has quickly smashed a number of records, including the most YouTube global streams in a 24-hour period (43.2 million), the same record on Vevo, its lyric video topped YouTube’s first-day streaming record and the single set Spotify’s global first 24-hour record. At press time the “Look” video had amassed more than 74 million views.
Hall, who likes to refer to himself as a “front-up dancer” rather than a backup one, said he was impressed that Swift was able to make the high-concept video made without word leaking out over all these months. And as for all the speculation about who, or what, Swift might be alluding to in the many Easter egg-style references in the clip, Hall isn’t talking. “It was just like Christmas morning couldn’t come fast enough,” he said of waiting for Sunday night’s (Aug. 27) debut during the 2017 MTV Video Music Awards. “I’m assuming what she means by that is, You made me break every record, you made me out-sell everyone,” he said. “You made me hire the best backup dancers in the world, you made me come out of a grave, you made me tilt a bunch of tombstones at one time — that choreography was like a flashmob of tombstones; it was really, really cool. That’s what they made her do.”
According to E News!, Swift showed her gratitude for the dancer’s discretion by sending them flower arrangements with a heartfelt card. “Thanks for keeping our secret. 🙂 I’m so proud of it and I hope you will be too,” read the card, signed, “Sending my love and gratitude, Taylor.” British pop duo Right Said Fred, whose 1991 smash “I’m Too Sexy” is interpolated in the song, told Billboard that they too received a lovely floral arrangement from the singer.
Watch the full interview and the “Look” video below: