Taylor Lautner recalls Kanye West interrupting Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift hugs Taylor Lautner at the 2009 VMAs moments before Kanye West interrupts Photo: Kevin Mazur (Getty Images)
Within the Taylor Swift cinematic universe, there are two main categories of supporting players: her long list of ex-lovers and her (perhaps longer?) list of enemies. Taylor Lautner falls into the former category, but you may have forgotten that he was actually a first-hand witness to the most important event in the latter. Yes, Swift’s ex-boyfriend was actually the one who presented her with the award at the infamous awards show where Kanye West jumped on stage.
In a TikTok clip from their new podcast, Lautner was asked by his wife (also named Taylor, just to add some confusion to the tale) what point in his life he would go back to if he could. He chose the 2009 VMAs, citing that he was “unaware” that the cut was “not a scheme”.
“I gave him the award, so I gave him the award. I took five steps back and was standing five meters behind her. And yes, in the middle of her acceptance speech, Kanye jumps on stage,” he explained. because why else would Kanye West jump on stage interrupting Taylor Swift? It just didn’t make sense.”
“If you look back, I actually catch myself laughing and I like it, laughing with him. I’m like, ‘I can’t hear them, but this is probably really funny right now,’” Lautner admits. “He jumped. She finished. The second she turned around and I saw her face for the first time, I was like, ‘Oh. No. …It wasn’t good.”
Lautner should be forgiven for not realizing his lady friend needed a knight in shining armor at that moment. After all, just last year saw another shocking awards show interruption that many members of the audience, both in attendance and watching from home, didn’t realize was unscripted until Chris Rock himself confirmed it. The times when celebrities deviate from the pre-planned script tend to take on a surreal and almost mythological quality watching it.
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This is true of the 2009 VMAs: it left an indelible mark on pop culture in general and on the careers of the two artists at the center of the scandal. Swift sweetly immortalized her relationship with Lautner (“Back To December”) and the event itself (“Innocent”) on her Speak Now album, but her later lyrical rants about Ye developed a bitter, even vindictive edge. You, meanwhile, embarked on a villainous arc that has since reached disturbing new heights. If Lautner could go back in time to that moment, one wonders how he might change things — and how different the pop culture landscape might be as a result.