Taylor Swift didn’t just bless fans with the 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” she brought her words to life with All Too Well: The Short Film. The Grammy winner sat down at the Tribeca Film Festival on June 11 for a screening and Q&A session about the short film. Taylor explained the ending of the short film and why we never saw the reaction to Dylan O’Brien’s Him in those final moments.
“I didn’t want us to see his face as he’s walking away because I wanted us to wonder, was he happy? Was he just seeing if she was okay? Was he about to walk in? Was he leaving thinking it’s time to leave well enough alone? That I’ve put her through enough? We will always wonder. We will never know,” Taylor revealed.
Ten years after the breakup between Her and Him, played by Sadie Sink and Dylan, the Teen Wolf alum’s character shows up at a book reading for Sadie’s Her. He’s wearing the red scarf she left at his house all those years ago, and he watches from the outside as she reads an excerpt of her debut novel All Too Well, which is about their brief but passionate relationship. The relationship at the center of “All Too Well” has long been rumored to be about Taylor’s ex Jake Gyllenhaal.
“The ending scene where he’s looking through a window, that’s for me where he becomes I think fully a protagonist because we can all relate to being on the outside, again, having regrets,” Taylor explained. The singer went on to say that Dylan was the perfect choice for the role of Him because he “has this electric charisma that this character needed to be able to get away with all the gaslighting.”
Taylor also revealed that there were hints sprinkled in about Sadie’s Her being a writer. She pointed out that the moment when Sadie’s Her tells Dylan’s Him that she feels like she made him up in the short film “foreshadows the fact that one day she will write a book and she will sort of fictionalize his character into a main character in her novel.”
All Too Well: The Short Film marked Taylor’s short film directorial debut. She admitted that she’d be open to directing a feature film one day. “It would be so fantastic to write and direct something, a feature,” she said. “I don’t see it being bigger in terms of scale. I loved making a film that was so intimate and with a crew that was relatively small and just a really solid crew of people that I trusted.”