Teyana Taylor Discusses Her Starring Role in Kanye West's "Fade" Video

“I was so nervous because it was really a do-or-die moment.”

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There were some seriously impressive performances at the 2016 MTV VMAs, but Kanye West‘s premiere of his sensual NSFW video for “Fade” was one of the key show-stealing moments. Just a day after all the hysteria and hype, Vogue spoke to Teyana Taylor, the magnetic star of the video, to find out about how she landed the role and how she was feeling as it was released out into the world.

The G.O.O.D. Music roster member revealed that there were some serious nerves in the lead up to the VMAs. ”I was on Twitter and Instagram, but my phone was shaking because my hand was shaking. I was so nervous because it was really a do-or-die moment,” she explained. ”But it was dope that I was able to really sit back and really take in the whole moment. It’s emotional because I’ve been in the industry for so long and I’ve never understood why certain things weren’t happening. And now I feel like my story, everything that I’ve been through, makes this moment so much more special.”

Taylor also explained that Kanye expressed interest in securing her for the starring role shortly after her Hip Hop Honors tribute to Lil Kim. They spoke in the recording studio about her young family with her fiancé, Cleveland Cavaliers shooting guard Iman Shumpert – who also stars in the video with their baby – and the conversation seemed to have quite the impact on ‘Ye. “When they first reached out about the video, all I knew was that he wanted me to dance. At that point he didn’t have to tell me twice,” she clarified.

Apparently, the random feline transformation at the end of the video was entirely Kanye’s idea. “Yeah, he was just like, ‘I’m going to put you in this cat face. It’s going to be chic. At the same time, being an actor, I love doing stuff like that—to be able to get dressed up and get out of my comfort zone. I was very excited to do something different and artistic, but since we shot backwards, at first, I didn’t know what was going on. I thought, ‘This crazy mother-effer. He’s got 15 sheep in this gym right now, with poop all over the place.’ It’s crazy the thing that happens behind the scenes; my wig almost flew off. It’s just so dope to watch the final product and know all the things that went into it. From the bottom of the heart this meant so much to me.”

Check out Teyana Taylor’s full interview with Vogue here.

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