Baby, now we got “Bad Blood.” Following nine days of hype in the form of 18 individual character posters, Taylor Swift unveiled her epic video for “Bad Blood” at the start of the Billboard Music Awards on Sunday night.
Starring a surfeit of big names — including Swift, Selena Gomez, Lena Dunham, Hailee Steinfeld, Cara Delevingne, Jessica Alba, Cindy Crawford, Ellen Pompeo and Mariska Hargitay — the “Bad Blood” video focuses on what happens when Swift’s Catastrophe is double-crossed by Gomez’s Arsyn and subsequently seeks revenge.
It’s a motif that fits with the song, which Swift said she wrote about another popular female artist after a dispute over back-up dancers. (Many presume “Bad Blood” is about Katy Perry, but Swift has often said she won’t talk about their relationship.)
“Bad Blood” is the fourth video Swift has released from her smash-hit album 1989, following “Shake It Off,” “Style” and “Blank Space.” Like “Blank Space,” it was directed by Joseph Kahn, who said on Twitter that he was editing the new clip up until the last minute.
Swift began announcing cast members for “Bad Blood” on May 7, and she told each star to pick his or her own name for their characters. It’s a twist that allowed some individual personality to sneak into the proceedings.
“I’m obsessed with Beyoncé,” Gigi Hadid, who plays Slay-Z in “Bad Blood,” told PEOPLE. “It’s a play on Jay Z and using the word ‘slay’ … because slay. Hashtag-slay!”