It all started with pizza. Mike Birbiglia went on The Late Show With Stephen Colbert and shared how he was chosen by Taylor Swift to play the role of her “nightmare” son in the “Anti-Hero” music video.
“It was just a flukey thing,” Birbiglia started, saying he connected with the singer through their mutual friend (and Swift’s esteemed producer) Jack Antonoff.
“She was writing the music video the day that we happened to meet and we were having pizza with Jack and a bunch of folks and she thought, ‘Oh, you,’” Birbiglia said. “Apparently in her mind, she thought, ‘This is the dystopic, nightmare version of what my son would be.’ And that’s my dream come true.”
In the “Anti-Hero” music video, Birbiglia plays Preston, one of Swift’s children during a comedic scene inspired by the song’s bridge: “I have this dream my daughter-in-law kills me for the money/She thinks I left them in the will/The family gathers ’round and reads it and then someone screams out/’She’s laughing up at us from Hell.’”
Birbiglia says he got a text from Swift several weeks later with the script attached and was unsure if it was really the Midnights pop star or perhaps a catfish.
“I thought, ‘It’s either Taylor Swift [which] would be cool, or it’s someone catfishing me who’s an excellent writer,’” he said with a laugh. “Because she sent the script to the video, that’s wonderful and very funny… so I thought, ‘Either way, sort of a win-win.’ And I go, ‘Count me in, either Taylor Swift or catfish person!’”
“Then, we shot the video and I think it’s a riot and super cool to be a little part of a super big thing,” he added.
Swift debuted the visual for “Anti-Hero” the night Midnights was released. A small scene from the video was removed after she faced criticism for including the word “fat” on a scale. The song continues to sit at Number One on the Billboard Hot 100, and she released a remix with Jack Antonoff’s band Bleachers earlier this week.
“Jack’s version of ‘sexy baby’ is ‘art bro’ and we sincerely hope it confuses just as many people,” Swift wrote on Twitter about the song’s new remix.