Taylor Swift just dropped the music video for the fourth track on her seventh album, Lover. “The Man” explores Taylor’s understanding of what her life would be like if she were the same Taylor in a different body. In a 2019 interview with Vogue, she said, “It’s a thought experiment of sorts: ‘If I had made all the same choices, all the same mistakes, all the same accomplishments, how would it read?’”
Now, Taylor’s music video is an experiment of special effects makeup and her creativity. The video features a pretty obnoxious businessman basking in his successes and getting really upset about his failures. He even throws what Taylor referred to on Instagram as a “massive mantrum” when he loses a tennis match (refereed by Taylor’s dad, Scott Swift).
Based on the song’s lyrics, the video’s narrative comes as no surprise. What does? At the end of the video, “the man” approaches Taylor for feedback on his music video performance. At this moment, not only is it revealed that “the man” is voiced by Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson, but also that he was Taylor carefully disguised by special effects makeup the whole time. If you’re an avid Swiftie, you might have picked up on this earlier since “the man” had an uncanny mastery of Taylor’s signature moves and gestures.
While Taylor tends to have a large role in the planning and creation of her music videos, she usually works with a director, taking on the role of executive producer like she did in the creation of the video for “You Need to Calm Down.” However, “The Man” was a pretty big showcase of Swift genius. The video is for a song that she wrote and sang and was completely directed by her as well. Taylor proudly showcases this achievement in the video’s credits which credit, direction, writing, the lead role, and ownership to none other than Taylor Swift.