When I posted about a strangely-quite-good comedic web series focused on one Colombian guy’s obsession with Taylor Swift, there wasn’t much information to go on outside of the episodes themselves. Where did “Searching for Taylor Swift” come from? Why is it any good? Would there be episodes beyond the four posted to YouTube last year? Does that guy playing the main part really even like Taylor Swift, or this all just a viral come-on using Swift’s name because she happens to be the ubiquitous star of the moment?
In an effort to get some of these questions answered, I turned to Heider Tunarrosa, creator and star of “Searching for Taylor Swift.”
I tried to look up information about you online but couldn’t find much. Who are you and where did you come from? What’s your background?
I’m from Bogota, Colombia, and I moved to the US in 2008. I went to The New School [in New York] and got a Bachelor of Science in creative writing and film studies.
How did “Searching for Taylor Swift” come about?
“Searching for Taylor Swift” started as a joke that a friend of mine made about how weird it is that someone who looks and sounds like me loves Taylor Swift, because I really do love Taylor Swift. Based on that comment, I wrote a short script and sent it to my manager, Dan Pearson. He liked it a lot, so we got together and developed the concept as a whole. A couple months later, my manager found an excellent director [Adam Taylor] and he also helped us write the scripts and came up with the ‘look’ of the show, which is what you see on the YouTube channel.
Watching the show, it can be hard to tell if you are actually a deranged fan or if you are just playing one in a web series. Especially since you’re not just a guy acting the part, but also a guy who co-created the series and wrote the first scripts. How much of this is based on your actual obsession with Taylor Swift?
As I mentioned earlier, in real life, I love Taylor Swift. I started listening to her music after I had a bad break-up [laughs], and then I Googled her. I was very curious about this amazing singer/songwriter who was so successful by just being herself.
I love the fact that Taylor writes her own music. I love the fact that she’s so humble, and nice, and her lyrics just sound real. I love that realistic sensation she puts into her writing. That’s one of the reasons why I love her so much. I listened to her music more and more, and I became a ‘Swiftie’ [laughs], and I’ve actually seen her live twice. I genuinely love the honesty in her songs.
What shows have you enjoyed most as a viewer? In the way it’s written and shot, this has a kind of “Arrested Development” sensibility to it.
My TV taste is very eclectic. My favorite shows are “Six Feet Under,” “Ally McBeal,” “Arrested Development” and “South Park,” but right now, I’m a big fan of “Modern Family,” “Veep,” “Mad Men,” and “Homeland.” Oh, and “House of Cards” and “Orange Is The New Black.”
The first four episodes were put out every week or two to a sort of slow response, then everything seemed to stop. Are there more completed episodes yet to be released? What’s the future of the show?
Yes, there is one final episode that hasn’t been published yet because there’s a twist at the end that we don’t want to reveal just yet. We’re working on making the idea of the show bigger and into a longer format.
If Taylor Swift is reading this now, what do you want her to know?
I’d tell her thank you for her music. She’s incredibly talented. I also love her humbleness and how nice she is to her fans. I’d love to try her baking. [laughs] I check her Instagram every now and then and she’s always baking cookies. I also would like to thank her because as a writer myself, it’s hard to write about your experiences, but her courage to do that allows me to do that.
You can watch the “Searching for Taylor Swift” web series here.