Jake Gyllenhaal Finally Breaks His Silence On Taylor Swift's 'All Too Well'

By Emily Lee

February 17, 2022

Photo: Getty Images

It's been a minute since Taylor Swift dropped Red (Taylor's Version) back in November. The rerecorded album saw Swift releasing the highly anticipated 10-minute version of her fan-favorite song 'All Too Well,' which fans have long believed to be about Jake Gyllenhaal. Though the long-mythologized extended version of the song inspired a short film, broke records, and caused a fan-frenzy online, Gyllenhaal didn't make any public comments about the fervor—until now.

While chatting with Esquire for its latest cover story, the 41-year-old actor was finally asked to comment on Red (Taylor's Version) and 'All Too Well' and his answer may surprise some Swifties. “It has nothing to do with me," he told the outlet. "It’s about her relationship with her fans. It is her expression. Artists tap into personal experiences for inspiration, and I don’t begrudge anyone that.”

Gyllenhaal went on to deny Swift's rerelease of Red, which revisits their romance from ten years ago, has been difficult for him, however, he did admit to turning off his Instagram comments in its wake. Following the release of Red (Taylor's Version), fans enthusiastically roasted Gyllenhaal on social media, including in his own Instagram comments. From that interesting keychain Swift says he carried back in 2010 to the former couple's significant age gap, fans had hot takes on it all. It turns out, Gyllenhaal didn't appreciate that much.

“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 said. "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.”

“My question is: Is this our future? Is anger and divisiveness our future?" Gyllenhaal continued. "Or can we be empowered and empower others while simultaneously putting empathy and civility into the dominant conversation? That’s the discussion we should be having.”

When asked if he's listened to Red, Gyllenhaal said he hadn't. “I’m not unaware that there’s interest in my life," he added. "My life is wonderful. I have a relationship that is truly wonderful, and I have a family I love so much. And this whole period of time has made me realize that.”

Though this was the first time Gyllenhaal has gone on the record about Swift's album, fans believe he subtly responded a few months back when he was featured in W Mag 2022 Best Performances Portfolio. For his portrait, he posed in a completely red ensemble for the magazine. Not only did Gyllenhaal don an all-red outfit, but he also posed with heart-shaped sunglasses sitting on his head. The sunglasses resemble a pair Swift was known to rock during her first Red era, including in the music video for '22.'

Swift has never confirmed whether Red—and 'All Too Well,' specifically—is about Gyllenhaal, however, she's made it clear she's moved on despite revisiting her old music. While making an appearance on Late Night ahead of the release of Red (Taylor's Version), Seth Meyers inquired: "I wonder if there are people who might think that they were the one you were singing about, if it's easier or far, far worse for them 10 years later."

"I haven't thought about their experience, to be honest," Swift replied, to which Meyers declared with a laugh: "That's the biggest burn. I think there's nothing they'd rather hear less."

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