Taylor Swift is gearing up to expand her acting resumé soon, having joined the cast of David O. Russell’s Amsterdam, presumably appearing, as with any actor in one of Russell’s recent films, in the role of “Person Who Hasn’t Seen Some Of Those Clips Of David O. Russell Online.” (She’s actually playing a grieving widow, per Variety.)
Prior to now, Swift’s acting gigs have been fairly light: She appeared in The Lorax, The Giver, Cats and Valentine’s Day over on the movie side of things, and showed up for episodes of CSI and New Girl in TV. As it turns out, there’s one big credit missing from her C.V., though: Twilight film New Moon, which she apparently asked to be in—but was rejected by director Chris Weitz.
Weitz laid out the reasoning for not allowing one of the biggest rising music stars on the planet to be in his “What if werewolves and vamp-os wanted to kiss you?” movie on Ashley Greene and Melanie Howe’s The Twilight Effect podcast recently. Specifically, he was, somewhat understandably, worried that Swift would completely over-shadow everything else happening in the film—even though she apparently offered to take any part offered, no matter how small, “someone at the cafeteria, or the diner or whatever.”
The hardest thing for me was to be like, the moment that Taylor Swift walks onto the screen, for about five minutes, nobody is going to be able to process anything. I kick myself for it too, because—I was like, wow, I could’ve been hanging out with Taylor Swift. She must have been like, ‘Who is this jerk?’ But sometimes you make decisions thinking this is for the best of the film.
Weitz notes that the offer came about because Swift was a huge fan of the franchise, and also shared an agent with him. This would, presumably, have been in late 2008 or early 2009, just a few months after Fearless transformed Swift from a very well-known country star into a 10-times platinum-selling crossover artist. Weitz is probably right that that would have been distracting—although as students and scholars of the movie Cats, we’ll note that it is possible to throw enough shit on the screen to successfully draw attention away from Swift’s undeniable star power.
Anyway: Hard to imagine how much more successful Swift could have been if she’d actually landed the gig. Ah, what might have been.