Ever Forget Taylor Swift's Name? Criminal Minds: Evolution Star Zach Gilford Somehow Did, And Shared A Fun Story About It

Taylor Swift's Anti-Hero video and Zach Gilford in The Midnight Club.
(Image credit: YouTube/Netflix)

We all know what it’s like to forget someone’s name. Our brains can prove to be our worst enemy when it comes to having to recall vital information on the spot, no matter how familiar a person may be to us — family member, co-worker, global superstar, etc. It’s hard to imagine that anyone would ever forget Taylor Swift’s name, given that she’s so famous even her cat has a greater net worth than we do. But Zach Gilford of the Paramount+ revival Criminal Minds: Evolution found himself in that precise situation, and he recalled the amusing way he got out of it.

The Friday Night Lights alum actually worked with Taylor Swift earlier in her career, playing her love interest in the 2011 music video for “Ours,” and when he was asked about the experience on the podcast LadyGang, Zach Gilford recalled his lack of confidence about what her first name was and how he chose to avoid using it altogether. In his own words: 

I’m so out of touch. . . . They were doing all this behind-the-scenes footage on that music video. They’re interviewing me, and I’m really bad with names, and I wasn’t sure if her name was Taylor or Tyler. So I’d only refer to her as Ms. Swift. I was like, ‘Ms. Swift. She’s so great. She’s so sweet. She’s so great to work with.’ And I was terrified. Because I knew, this was back in 2004 or something, I would have been the first person ever canceled if I said her name wrong.

It wasn’t quite that long ago, but I think we can all still appreciate Zach Gilford being able to find a creative way to avoid the possibility of making such a huge error, and he did it in a way that came off super respectful to the pop star. 

One of the behind-the-scenes videos on Taylor Swift’s YouTube page appears to confirm Zach Gilford’s story, as he seemingly balks at saying his co-star’s first name during an interview on location. Check out the hilarious moment around the 50-second mark: 

Even if it was just a momentary lapse, it was pretty smart of The Midnight Club star to opt for “Ms. Swift” rather than take a 50/50 shot at getting it right. A name flub can be hard to overcome — will John Travolta ever live down the “Adela Dazeem” disaster? — and Taylor Swift’s fans have proven to be a group you don’t want to piss off.

Just ask Avenged Sevenfold’s frontman M. Shadows, who drew Swifties’ ire after he spoke out against artists who release multiple versions of albums, calling it “fan abuse.” (He claimed his comments were not directed at Taylor Swift.) The singer’s fans were also offended on T-Swift’s behalf when all three contestants on a 2022 episode of Jeopardy! failed to recognize the lyrics to “You Need to Calm Down.”

It’s been over a decade since that music video shoot, and Swifties can rest assured Zach Gilford will likely never forget “Ms. Swift’s” name again. You can find the actor currently on Criminal MInds: Evolution, the revival of the popular police procedural, which is available to stream for those with a Paramount+ subscription

Heidi Venable
Content Producer

Heidi Venable is a Content Producer for CinemaBlend, a mom of two and a hard-core '90s kid. She started freelancing for CinemaBlend in 2020 and officially came on board in 2021. Her job entails writing news stories and TV reactions from some of her favorite prime-time shows like Grey's Anatomy and The Bachelor. She graduated from Louisiana Tech University with a degree in Journalism and worked in the newspaper industry for almost two decades in multiple roles including Sports Editor, Page Designer and Online Editor. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.