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In one of the few times since 2010, Jake Gyllenhaal, 41, is talking about Taylor Swift, 32. Three months after Taylor released the 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” one of the songs fans have speculated for years is about her brief relationship with Jake, the actor is revealing his reaction to Taylor’s music.
“It has nothing to do with me. It’s about her relationship with her fans,” he told Esquire. “It is her expression. Artists tap into personal experiences for inspiration, and I don’t begrudge anyone that.”
Taylor has never confirmed who “All Too Well” is about. She doesn’t name names when it comes to the inspiration for her music. Upon Red’s re-release and the debut of the “All Too Well” short film, Jake’s name became a worldwide trending topic on Twitter and TikTok. Many of the posts were not written in his favor. In the midst of the intense fan reaction, Jake turned off the comments on his Instagram.
When asked if that meant that the “All Too Well” situation was affecting his life, Jake said, “At some point, I think it’s important when supporters get unruly that we feel a responsibility to have them be civil and not allow for cyberbullying in one’s name,” he says. He falls silent, then pensive. “That begs for a deeper philosophical question. Not about any individual, per se, but a conversation that allows us to examine how we can—or should, even—take responsibility for what we put into the world, our contributions into the world. How do we provoke a conversation? We see that in politics. There’s anger and divisiveness, and it’s literally life-threatening in the extreme.” He was quick to add that his life has not been threatened.
Taylor released an entire re-recorded version of her album Red, which included the 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” in November 2021. Jake was asked if he has listened to the album. “No,” he simply said.
Basically, don’t expect Jake to wear a red scarf any time soon, that’s for sure. Jake and Taylor dated for three months in 2010 before breaking up. Two years later, she released Red and “All Too Well,” which is widely considered one of her best songs. In 2013, Taylor revealed that she had heard from the ex who inspired most of her album. Again, she didn’t reveal his name.
“I heard from the guy that most of Red is about. He was like, ‘I just listened to the album, and that was a really bittersweet experience for me. It was like going through a photo album,’” she told New York magazine. “That was nice. Nicer than, like, the ranting, crazy e-mails I got from this one dude. It’s a lot more mature way of looking at a love that was wonderful until it was terrible, and both people got hurt from it—but one of those people happened to be a songwriter.”