Taylor Swift could be a spy if she wasn’t a singer. The pop star has already shown the world that she has a gift when it comes to operating in stealth mode around paparazzi, but, according to her good friend Zayn Malik, she’s even more talented at it than previously imagined. We’ve seen Swift do everything from duck from the paparazzi before to hiding behind three umbrellas to shielding her face with a hoodie alongside her boyfriend Joe Alwyn, walk backwards, and, even, walk behind a restaurant tablecloth being held up as a makeshift privacy screen. But Malik’s accidental reveal of her go-to tactic might be the most impressive one yet—and one that close observers have theorized before.
In a conversation with British Vogue, Malik casually mentioned that Swift “was travelling around in a suitcase.” He didn’t elaborate, but did he need to? The idea of Swift getting into a suitcase just to avoid paparazzi is hilarious and kind of amazing, and it caused the internet’s imagination to run riot when two men were photographed carrying a Taylor-sized black suitcase out of and then back into Swift’s apartment last year.
No one should have to fight for their privacy to that extent. But Swift has talked about why she goes to such lengths before. Back in 2014, she told Capital FM that the paparazzi stalk her even in her sleep. “Oh my God yes anxiety dreams, and also my reality, even when I’m not dreaming, is peppered with lots of anxiety,” she said at the time. “There’s a dream that, any time I’m ‘paparazzi’d’ out, which is a lot, I have dreams that night that they’re in my room taking pictures of me while I’m sleeping! So I’ll find myself smiling in my sleep, because I think there are people in my room taking pictures of me. Not smiling because I’m happy, smiling because I think people are taking pictures of me!”
Even in 2012, she was dealing with excessive paparazzi. “There’s definitely something really confusing about people following you and being allowed to,” she told BBC at the time. “I don’t think it’s necessarily that paparazzi are taking pictures of me that freaks me out, as much as the fact they’re hanging out with you all day. “I asked to be a singer, I wanted this, so I can kind of understand it when they’re waiting outside a radio station or on a red carpet. “But it gets to be a bit irritating for me when they’re waiting for me outside my house, or when I’m on vacation and they’re there too.” The good news is that even though Swift’s stealthiest strategy for avoiding paparazzi has been exposed, she can still continue to hide in as many suitcases as she wishes without detection. You could say she’s found a way “Out of the Woods.”