One of the enduring mysteries of our time has been answered by Jake Gyllenhaal after years of speculating, hearing rumours, hearing insinuation, and hearing conspiracy theories. The 41-year-old actor was asked about the biting lyrics in Taylor Swift’s 2012 song “All Too Well” during a conversation with Esquire, and he responded that it wasn’t him.
Jake Gyllenhaal told the magazine that the song, which was revived in a 10-minute version on the re-release of Red (Taylor’s Version) in November 2021, “has nothing to do with me.” Gyllenhaal and Swift dated briefly in 2010, and after Swift debuted a video for the updated version of the tearjerking song, their romance gained significant fresh attention.
The extended version had never-before-seen lyrics and was backed by a Swift-directed music video that stoked further fan rage and led to a Swift boating of Jake in public for, among other things, long-standing rumours that he stole one of Taylor’s cherished scarves.
“It has to do with how she feels about her fans. She is expressing herself,” Jake Gyllenhaal remarked. I don’t think it’s wrong that artists draw inspiration from their own lives. The actor who disabled his Instagram comments during the wave of rumours last October claimed Taylor was correct to remind Swifties that they should not publicly attack him over their suspicions, even though he avoided using Swift’s name in the interview.
Swift responds to an older partner who suggests that “if we had been closer in age maybe it would have been fine” with the biting couplet, “I was never good at telling jokes/ But the punchline goes/ ‘I’ll get older, but your lovers will stay my age,” in the new version. Jake Gyllenhaal is nearly ten years Swift’s senior. Swift, who is always cunning, cast 30-year-old actor Dylan O’Brien and 19-year-old actress Sadie Sink in the music video as another apparent allusion to their relationship.
Jake Gyllenhaal said to the magazine, “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,” in reference to his ability to withstand Swifties’ renewed ire and the stars’ obligation to maintain civility. For the record, Swift has not made any direct remarks about the responses of her followers or the topic of the song. “That prompts a more profound philosophical query. Not about any specific person, per se, but a conversation that allows us to consider how we may — or perhaps should — take ownership of what we contribute to the world, the actor said.
However, Jake Gyllenhaal makes it clear that the “All Too Well” debate has not put his life in danger. He continued, “There’s rage in disagreement,” adding that it may become “life-threatening” in the worst circumstances. “Is this what our future holds?” Is rage and strife in our future? Or is it possible to empower ourselves and others while still introducing civility and empathy into the discourse at hand? That conversation is the one we need to be having, he said.