For over 15 years now, Taylor Swift has been a massive part of the music industry. From her roots in country with her debut single “Tim McGraw,” to expanding to pop with 1989 almost a decade later, to her recent work that leans towards indie-folk, the singer has amassed a huge collection of songs. Many of them have made their way to movies and television shows, or have been produced directly to accompany them. From The Hunger Games to Bridgerton, let’s talk about the best instances Swift’s music has been on screen.
And we say so far, because there’s sure to be a lot more Taylor Swift on film and TV in the future. The singer has already written an original song for Where The Crawdads Sing and Taylor’s Version of “This Love” recently was heard on the trailer for Amazon’s upcoming series The Summer I Turned Pretty. In any case, let’s get to the best of what’s already been released:
Fifty Shades Darker - "I Don’t Want To Live Forever"
Say what you will about the Fifty Shades franchise, but the movies always had incredible soundtracks featuring artists like The Weeknd, Beyoncé, John Legend and Halsey. In the second movie, Fifty Shades Darker, Taylor Swift and former One Direction member Zayn Malik teamed up for the hit single “I Don’t Want To Live Forever.” It was a lead song in the 2017 movie and played in a rare wholesome moment in the movie where Jamie Dornan’s Christian is teaching Anastasia how to steer his fancy yacht.
Valentine’s Day - "Today Was A Fairytale"
After Taylor Swift established herself as a massive artist with her first two albums, she made her acting debut in Garry Marshall’s 2010 romantic comedy Valentine’s Day alongside a massive cast including Julia Roberts, Anne Hathaway, Jessica Alba, Bradley Cooper and Jennifer Garner. In the movie that follows a number of stories on the national holiday, Taylor Swift and Taylor Lautner (who were dating at the time) were matched up as high school sweethearts. In an adorable moment that wraps up the movie, her original song “Today Was A Fairytale” plays.
Killing Eve - "Look What You Made Me Do"
More recently, Taylor Swift’s “Look What You Made Me Do” made a surprise appearance on the opening credits of Killing Eve, which Swift had been vocal about being a huge fan of previously. The song was a cover of the 2017 track by “Jack Leopards & The Dolphin Club,” which is a fake band, which appeared to consist of her brother Austin Swift and frequent collaborator/producer Jack Antonoff, per fan digging (via Insider). This instance was sneaky, fun and, of course, complemented the series very well.
Little Monsters - "Shake It Off"
A Taylor Swift song made its way into the 2019 comedy zombie film Little Monsters. The movie that starred Lupita Nyong’o as a kindergarten teacher and Alexander England as a washed-up musician is about them surviving a zombie outbreak. The movie ends with their characters covering “Shake It Off,” with Nyong’o on ukulele while a classroom of kids sang along. It makes for a sweet moment to finish off the offbeat zombie movie.
Hannah Montana: The Movie - "Crazier"
As Taylor Swift was becoming a major part of pop culture with songs like “Love Story” and “You Belong With Me,” she also became part of Hannah Montana: The Movie. Along with being featured in the soundtrack in two songs she co-wrote, the singer also appeared in the movie itself singing “Crazier” in a sweet moment in the movie. She sang the song as Miley Cyrus’ famed Disney Channel character danced with Lucas Til’s Travis Brody and her dad, Billy Ray Cyrus’ Robby Rae, got closer to Melora Hardin’s Lorelai.
San Andreas - “Style”
Along with soundtracking a lot of primarily sweet moments in movies and television, a Taylor Swift song also notably came on in 2015 disaster movie San Andreas right before a woman nearly fell to her death. In the Dwayne Johnson action movie, a young woman is shown listening to 1989 single “Style” in her car calmly and rocking out to the song when a landslide from the massive earthquake occurs, taking her off the road and plummeting down a massive hill.
The Hunger Games - "Safe & Sound"
Before becoming part of Fifty Shades and the upcoming Where The Crawdads Sing book adaptations, Taylor Swift lent her talents to The Hunger Games soundtrack with “Safe & Sound” and “Eyes Open.” The haunting “Safe & Sound” that she recorded with The Civil Wars not only brought star power to the YA thriller, it also set the mood for the movie. Although it only played during the credits, if you were a fan, you remember how memorable this release was to the movie and Swift’s growth as an artist.
Bridgerton - “Wildest Dreams”
When Bridgerton became a phenomenon in late 2020, one of the key elements that set itself apart from other period romances is its use of modern pop songs as orchestral arrangements from the Vitamin String Quartet. The most memorable from Season 1 had to be “Wildest Dreams,” during Episode 6. The scene involved Regé-Jean Page and Phoebe Dynevor’s Duke and Daphne exploring each other as a newly-married couple. It made for a super spicy, but equally romantic moment in the Netflix show.
Grey’s Anatomy - "White Horse"
One of the most classic Taylor Swift music moments on television was when her heartbreaking track “White Horse” was in the background as Sandra Oh’s Christina and Kevin McKidd’s Owen had their first kiss in Season 5, Episode 2 back in 2008. It happened after Cristina slips and is impaled by an icicle, and is admitted as a patient at Seattle Grace and Owen takes care of her. It’s the beginning of one of the most beautiful relationships on Grey’s Anatomy.
New Girl - "22"
We’ll end this list with the most fun and perhaps greatest Taylor Swift song drop so far. In Season 2, Episode 16 of New Girl, Zooey Deschanel just suffered a breakup and was dancing as Swift played. Her roommate Nick came in and started wackily dancing to “22” as she cried with wine in hand. He wasn't helping, and she responded, “I just wanted to listen to Taylor Swift alone!” It’s a mood, a vibe and now a classic meme for the Swifties.
Next up, Taylor Swift has an original song called “Carolina” in Where The Crawdads Sing, and she'll also have a role in David O’Russell’s Amsterdam alongside Margot Robbie, Christian Bale and Robert De Niro. Otherwise, who knows what upcoming movies or new and returning shows a Taylor Swift song might show up in next?
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