NEW YORK - Now that Taylor Swift has entered the realm of superstardom, life is changing around her.
A trip to the mall is now defined by points and stares. She can't go to a restaurant without gawking by fellow diners. And like other celebrities, she finds almost every move monitored by paparazzi.
But you won't hear Swift complain. She considers the loss of any privacy a small price to pay for living her dream.
At 19, the country singer-songwriter is one of the biggest stars in music. Her sophomore album, "Fearless," has sold more than three million copies; her self-titled debut went double-platinum; and she's on a best-selling tour. This Sunday, "Dateline NBC" devotes a special to her, taking fans backstage to show Swift's life behind the performances.
Swift talked about how her world is changing - but she's remaining the same - in a recent interview.
AP: Has success been overwhelming?
Swift: Well, it's really fun. I wanted this, since the time I was a little girl. I've always just wished that maybe someday people would care about the words that I wrote. I'm so lucky that my songs are basically my diary put to music. I'm so lucky that I get to write my own music and write my own stories, so every single time I look down in the audience and I see somebody singing the words back to me, it makes it all worth it.
AP: Your music is autobiographical. Does being under the microscope make you more gun-shy about revealing so much?
Swift: You know I don't really rebel in a lot of areas in my life. . . . But the one place where I'm allowed to rebel, and the one place where I'm allowed to not worry about censoring myself is my music. I don't need to edit names out of songs and I don't need to edit details out of my songs because I've always been able to be honest with my music. That's the one place where I'm never ever going to change how I do things.
AP: You're touring with Kellie Pickler. What's it like being on the road with one of your best friends?
Swift: We are just absolutely such close friends and almost like sisters at this point. She and I will like sit in the dressing room 'til 2 or 3 a.m., just talking and painting our nails. It's so much fun to just have another person out on tour with you that you know you're so close with and you've known you for a really long time, to the point where you really just feel like they're family.
AP: You were recently on "CSI" and show a dramatic flair in your videos. Do you want to develop your acting?
Swift: My favourite thing in the world is telling stories, and most of what I do is telling stories through music. But when I get to tell a story through music videos or "CSI," that's fun for me, too . . . It's all about finding the story that I want to tell, so I'm definitely open to acting roles, it just depends on the story.
AP: These days, are you less likely to date someone in the public eye? (Swift had a public romance and breakup with Joe Jonas.)
Swift: When I'm thinking about going on a date with some guy or considering liking him, it really doesn't matter what they do or how that affects my career. . . . When you strategize a relationship too much, like, "We're not gonna be public about it, and we're gonna say this in interviews," when you think it all out, I think that complicates the relationship and I think that's unfair for the relationship. I don't look for boyfriends, I don't really scour the awards shows for who I'm going to date (laughs), but I think love happens when you're not looking for it, and when it happens, I'm not going to be the one to overthink it.
AP: You're friends with Miley Cyrus and Selena Gomez. What kind of camaraderie do you have with them?
Swift: I've always approached this from the place where I don't compete with other girls. I don't compete with other people in the industry, I compete with myself. If I looked at every other girl in the entertainment industry as competition, my life would be really lonely. I wouldn't have some of the coolest friends that I'm so glad I've gotten to know over the last couple of years. . . . It's really awesome to get to hang out with those girls and to call them friends.
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