Taylor Swift up close: I haven’t seen her since her first year at the Grammys. She was a gangly teenager with a mother and family who stuck to her like glue. It seems like eons have passed.
On Sunday night Taylor, labeled a maneater in the press, came to Soho House in Toronto. She contributed a song to the movie “One Chance” about British singer Paul Potts. Her date? A bodyguard who growled whenever anyone approached. Her tablemate? Young Australian actor Brenton Thwaites, who will make his American debut in The Weinstein Company’s “The Giver” starring Meryl Streep and Jeff Bridges.
I slid into a seat at their table. The bodyguard bared his teeth. Taylor said, “He’s okay.” I was approved for an audience– mostly because I told the truth. In my recent entrapment in my car, Swift’s duet with Ed Sheeran– called “Everything Has Changed”– has become a favorite. It’s her best offering in a long time because it’s not about knifing a celebrity ex boyfriend.
What did we talk about? Her tour, which I caught with my nieces last winter at the Prudential Center in Newark. “I’m very sad. We only have a couple of dates left in the U.S.” Does she like performing live? “I love it,” she said. But it’s not over. The tour goes international next. Swift’s highly constructed show still has countries to conquer.
And what about the man-eating thing? I must tell you, Swift and Thwaites sat perpendicular to each other. They could not have been more chaste. They looked like characters from “Downton Abbey.” There was no hand holding, smooching, or anything else. They actually looked like they’d been put at the table like a flower arrangement. And Taylor couldn’t have been nicer or more composed.
Maybe everything has changed.