The old Taylor Swift might be dead (and, thus, incapable of coming to the phone), but the new one is on full display in the first trailer for Netflix’s upcoming documentary about her life.
Spanning the singer’s personal struggles and professional career, Miss Americana — directed by nonfiction filmmaker Lana Wilson — offers a raw glimpse into Swift’s world, highlighting her struggles during a key transformational period which taught her to “embrace her role not only as a songwriter and performer, but as a woman harnessing the full power of her voice,” according to the official synopsis.
The trailer (above) begins as Swift reflects on her formative past as an up-and-coming musician, which laid the foundation for her candid lyrical approach and outspoken approach to music industry injustices.
“Throughout my whole career, label executives would just say, ‘A nice girl doesn’t force their opinions on people, a nice girl smiles and waves and says thank you,” Swift says in the clip. “I became the person everybody wanted me to be.”
Thus, she embarked on a personal quest for solace, which ultimately led to the release of her latest album, last year’s Lover.
“Nobody physically saw me for a year. And that’s what I thought they wanted. I had to deconstruct an entire belief system, toss it out, and reject it,” she says of her critics. “It woke me up from constantly feeling like I was fighting for people’s respect. It was happiness without anyone else’s input.”
The remainder of the trailer shows Swift preparing to perform for stadium crowds, hugging Todrick Hall and a few RuPaul’s Drag Race queens — including Tatianna and Jade Jolie, who co-starred in her “You Need to Calm Down” music video — backstage at the 2019 MTV VMAs, and spending time with her family.
Swift first revealed she had filmed a documentary in November 2019, as she shed light on her ongoing feud with Scooter Braun and Scott Borchetta, who drew the singer’s ire after purchasing the rights to the singer’s early master recordings last year. Swift claimed the men were attempting to block the release of the documentary after declining “the use of my older music or performance footage for this project, even though there is no mention of either of them or [Braun’s label] Big Machine Records anywhere in the film.” Big Machine Records eventually said they were not blocking Swift’s music from appearing in the documentary, and have since cleared the use of her music for the film.
Following its Jan. 23 world premiere at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival, Miss Americana hits a limited number of theaters and Netflix’s streaming service on Jan. 31. Watch the full trailer above.