Taylor Swift Paid Homage to a Classic 1989 Film in Her New "Fortnight" Music Video

It was time for the tortured poets to meet their friends down the hall.

Taylor Swift Paid Homage to a Classic 1989 Film in Her New "Fortnight" Music Video
(Image credit: Instagram | @ethanhawke)

Taylor Swift's first official music video from her eleventh studio album The Tortured Poets Department is here, and it pays homage to a classic 1989 film.

On Friday evening, Swift released the music video for her song "Fortnight," featuring Post Malone. The video is filmed completely in black-and-white, and features a cameo from two familiar faces for anyone who is a fan of the unparalleled film Dead Poets Society.

That's right: Ethan Hawke and Josh Charles cameo in the video—an undeniable ode to the 1989 classic starring the late, great Robin Williams. In the movie, Hawke and Charles play two students attending an all-boys preparatory school who, with the help of Williams' unconventional teaching methods, learn how to buck outdated traditions, unrealistic expectations and—as the famous movie's iconic line says—seize the day.

"'Todd' & 'Knox' from DEAD POETS SOCIETY are now PhDs in THE TORTURED POETS DEPARTMENT," Hawke wrote on Instagram along with snapshots of the new music video and throwback photos of the actors starring in Dead Poets Society.

"It’s quite an honor.Thank you @taylorswift for the opportunity to be in the music video for your song FORTNIGHT feat. @postmalone," the caption continued.

A post shared by Ethan Hawke

A photo posted by ethanhawke on

Charles also shared his appreciation for Swift including him in her new music video, posting another black-and-white photo of the actors sharing the music video screen with Swift.

"I’ve admired Taylor for a long time, but meeting her in person took my fandom to a whole new level," the actor posted on X, formerly known as Twitter. "Genuine, kind, approachable, and just an all around stellar human being—not to mention a kick ass director to boot!"

In an Instagram post featuring a series of photos from the music video, Swift gave some behind-the-scenes information regarding her vision for her latest music video, including a shoutout to the Dead Poets Society actors (and an introduction to anyone who hasn't seen the film... which should be remedied immediately.)

"When I was writing the 'Fortnight' music video, I wanted to show you the worlds I saw in my head that served as the backdrop for making this music," she explained in the caption. "Pretty much everything in it is a metaphor or a reference to one corner of the album or another. For me, this video turned out to be the perfect visual representation of this record and the stories I tell in it.

"I'm still laughing from getting to work with the coolest guys on earth, @ethanhawke and @mrjoshcharles. (tortured poets, meet your colleagues from down the hall, the dead poets)," she continued.

A post shared by Taylor Swift

A photo posted by taylorswift on

Perhaps Swift enlisting Dead Poets Society alumni is not entirely out of left field—in 2022, during an interview with The Line of Best Fit, Maya Hawke revealed that her father is a proud Swiftie himself.

"It took me a long while to be able to show him (some music that) he didn't already know about," the Stranger Things actress said at the time. "'Ours' was the first Taylor Swift song that I played for him on guitar. He was like, 'Who wrote that?', and I was like, 'Taylor Swift!'"

Maya Hawke went on to say that her father "thought it was a really good song" and, as a result, she felt "so confident" because she was able to introduce her dad to new music.

In fact, Maya got her dad so hooked that she says he excitedly texted her when Swift announced her 2022 album Midnights.

“He was like, 'Oh my God, Taylor Swift already has a new record coming out? I'm so excited! She re-released Red, and now there's Midnights? How does she do it?'" she said.

No but seriously, how does she do it?!

Danielle Campoamor is an award-winning freelance writer covering mental health, reproductive justice, abortion access, maternal mental health, politics, celebrity, and feminist issues. She has been published in The New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, NBC, Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Marie Claire, InStyle, Playboy, Teen Vogue, Glamour, The Daily Beast, and more.