The woodland creature/NYU graduate better known as Taylor Swift is one step closer to solidifying her status as a Hollywood starlet: The pop icon is now a VMA-winning solo director, making history as not only the first artist to win Video of the Year three times, but also the first artist to win for a video directed without a collaborator. Her short film for the song “All Too Well (10 Minute Version) (Taylor’s Version)” is also, fittingly, the longest music video ever to win in the category.
She first scooped up the win for Best Longform Video early in the evening, then returned to the stage later to accept Video of the Year. (The crowd was chanting her name before her win was even announced.) In classic Swiftian fashion, she used the moment not only to praise her devoted fan base, but to plug an upcoming project: her next album, dropping October 21.
The news—and the historic win—comes as Swift appears to be building a slow but steady rise in the film and television industry, having already acted in a few movies but now making more intriguing maneuvers. (She recently screened the “All Too Well” film at the Tribeca Film Festival; she’ll appear in the upcoming David O. Russell film Amsterdam; and she and boyfriend Joe Alwyn were recently spotted dining with longtime friend and TV writer/creator Lena Dunham, which could be nothing more than a friendly get-together but could signal something more.) But Swift is nothing if not calculated: If she moves deeper into film, she’s taking care to ensure that, meanwhile, her dominance in the pop sphere continues. Her fans don’t seem too concerned about their champion’s longevity.
Read the full transcript of Swift’s multiple VMAs speeches below.
“Before this, I had directed and written my music videos but I had never made a short film before. So I wanted to start out by saying thank you to Sadie Sink, Dylan O’Brien, my amazing cinematographer Rina Yang, my producer Saul Germaine, and the rest of our incredible crew for trusting me, for lending me their brilliance, their talent, their time. We put our entire hearts into this, trying to make something that might be worthy of the love that you, the fans, have shown this song. Thank you for this beautiful indication that we did something right. Love you guys.”
“I’m so honored to have been recognized alongside such amazing artists and directors in this category, and I just want to say I’m so heartened by the fact that, for the first time in VMA history, four of the directors nominated in the Video of the Year category are women. You guys, I’m just so proud of what we’ve made, and I know with every second of this moment that we wouldn’t have been able to make this short film if it weren’t for you, the fans. Because I wouldn’t be able to re-record my albums if it weren’t for you. You emboldened me to do that. And I had sort of made up my mind that, if you were going to be this generous, and give us this, I thought it might be a fun moment to tell you that my brand new album comes out October 21st. And I will tell you more at midnight.”
See you when the clock strikes 12!
Lauren Puckett-Pope is an associate editor at ELLE, where she covers news and culture.