“I wanted the video to be very simple and metaphorical at the same time,” Lemoine told MTV. “I wanted to work on the coldness of feelings in a very visual way, playing with the snow, the distance and sadness. [Taylor] really liked it. The winter theme was very interesting to me – the snow, the ice. I even wanted the guy to go swim in frozen lakes at some point. It was not possible, but I wanted to translate how you feel sometime when your heart is broken. The snow in the apartment is supposed to show how connected she is to him. He is outside, in the cold, but somehow she is connected to him.”
Taylor reportedly let the director take control over the video’s look and feel, but it was her idea to leave a letter for her “ex” at the end.
This was Lemoine’s first time directing one of Swift’s videos. He says he did his research prior to working with her.
“I have been going through a lot of videos and pictures of her on the Internet trying to find the best angle and style for her. I wanted people to feel like they would get to know her very intimately, and really trust in what she was saying,” he explained. “I wanted her to perform a very natural way, to make her look very European. This was the main challenge to me. All of Taylor’s world is very far away from my culture, but I saw something in her that could be very rough and heartbreaking; far from the princess glittery outfits and glam that she often goes for.”
Fun Fact: Taylor’s portion of the video was shot in Nashville and the shot of her former beau (played by model Guntars Asmanis) were shot in Upstate New York.