By Raisa Bruner
September 19, 2017

Taylor Swift’s return to the top of the charts was marked by an unexpected new persona: that of a zombie.

In her music video for “Look What You Made Me Do,” the 1989 singer decided to take a cue from pop culture’s obsession with the Walking Dead (and, perhaps, Michael Jackson’s iconic “Thriller” video), transforming herself into a decaying, animated corpse. With a made up gaunt face and bedraggled hair, Swift opens the video in a nighttime graveyard, clawing her way back to the surface to wreak havoc on all her enemies.

But of course, it’s not easy to turn a normal human into a zombie, even if just for a video shoot. So Buzzfeed is giving fans a peek behind the scenes to see just how Swift got into character in the makeup chair.

“This is definitely a revolutionary look in beauty. It’s called, just, you know, straight up dead,” Swift notes in the behind the scenes footage, her face already eerily caked in deathly prosthetics. “You know what’s weird? When you look this gross, you just have no physical insecurities. Like none. They’re gone. It’s freeing. I encourage everyone to look like a corpse at least once,” she added drily. The video tracks the activity of a team of makeup artists who apply some kind of mask to Swift’s face and even use faux nails and weird bits of fluff to turn her whole body into its post-grave look.

Lucky for her, Swift doesn’t spend all of the music video looking this “gross,” in her own words.

Write to Raisa Bruner at raisa.bruner@time.com.

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