Taylor Swift is in prankster mode again — and all for a good cause.
A new video clip released Tuesday shows the “Shake It Off” singer, 29, surprising British actor Shaun Dooley as he records “Never Grow Up” for charity album Got It Covered, which features covers from actors including Helena Bonham Carter, Jim Broadbent, Beauty and The Beast star Luke Evans and the first female Dr. Who, Jodie Whittaker.
Walking into the control booth at Abbey Road Studios while Dooley, 45, is recording her song, Swift pushes the talk-back button and softly says into the mic, “Shaun, we’ve just got like one note. Can you do it a little bit more American? Like with a bit more of an American accent. It’s a bit Yorkshire.”
A stunned Dooley then looks at the control booth and says, “Are you kidding me? What…”
Later, while talking to Dooley in the studio, Swift reveals that the whole thing came about through the help of Oscar winner Olivia Colman, who starred alongside the singer’s boyfriend Joe Alwyn in The Favourite, and also recorded a song for the album.
“Olivia texted,” says Swift when Dooley asks just how she got to be there.
She then adds with a wry smile: “She texted my boyfriend, but you know…”
After thanking Dooley for singing “Never Grow Up” on the record — which she says is “like the coolest most wonderful thing” — Swift adds that the song is so emotional she can’t physically perform it.
“I can’t sing this song live because I wrote this song about moving out and realizing that I wasn’t going to be a kid anymore and that I would never have that again,” says Swift. “And the fact that I heard that you were kind of like dedicating this to your family, my heart like doubled in size.”
The multiple Grammy winner then goes onto reveal that she’s also a “massive” fan of hit BBC police drama Broadchurch, which starred Dooley and Colman.
“I think it’s amazing that actors are making an album and doing this for Children in Need and putting themselves out there and putting themselves in situations that some of them aren’t really used to,” Swift says in the video.
“There’s nothing quite like when you get a surprise right,” she adds. “When you’ve managed to, like, surprise somebody and you know they didn’t know.”
Says Dooley, “Had I known she was there, I would have chickened out and I would have just said ‘I can’t do it, I can’t do it,’ and gone!”
He adds, “I heard this voice — this American voice — and I went ‘Who…? Nobody is American here?’ And I looked up and thinking that somebody had come out onto the balcony just talking, thinking ‘That’s a bit rude.’ Then I looked, and she was just there. I was like ‘No!'”