Taylor Swift had several reasons to say yes to taking the small, but pivotal role of Rosemary in the new film, The Giver. On top of getting the chance to share a scene with Oscar winner Jeff Bridges, who plays her father, this acting gig allowed Taylor to help tell a story that had a profound impact on the way she sees the world.
The Giver is based on Lois Lowry‘s futuristic novel of the same name, and Taylor first read it in fifth grade. She says, “I didn’t do a lot of thinking about the distant future as far as our society goes at that point in my life. This really kind of switched that up for me, and it really kind of blew my mind in a way that stuck with me.”
In The Giver, society has done away with pain and sadness as well as happiness, music and love. One person, known as the Receiver of Memories, now absorbs all of society’s memories and emotions in case they are needed to make a decision. The story deals with the weight of carrying that burden while also imagining a world without emotional or artistic expression.
Taylor says, “It celebrates all the things that I hold really dear and the things that are most important to me — like our history and our music and our art and our intellect and our memories. I think that that really had a great deal to do with why I wanted to be a part of this.”
Since Taylor writes songs about her own heartbreak and disappointment, a lot of fans reach out to her via social media to tell her about the tough times they’re facing. She thinks those fans will find a message of hope in The Giver.
“They can’t image that we can experience such great pain, such intense loss, such insecurity,” Taylor explains, “and the thing that I just wish I could tell them over and over again is that we live for these fleeting moments of happiness. Happiness is not a constant. It’s something that we only experience a glimpse of every once in awhile, but it’s worth it. And I think that’s what they’ll take away from this movie.”
Meryl Streep and Brenton Thwaites also star in The Giver, opening in theaters on Friday.
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