Taylor Swift’s ex-boyfriend Jake Gyllenhaal, the widely-speculated subject of much of her album Red and its new 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” made his first public appearance on Saturday since Swift’s re-recording of Red came out and its All Too Well short film. The actor joined his sister Maggie Gyllenhaal (who Swift seemingly referenced in “All Too Well”) at the Hamilton Behind the Camera Awards in Los Angeles. She was awarded the Breakthrough Director honor for her new film The Lost Daughter. He also presented an award there:
During the event, Gyllenhaal acted as if the internet hadn’t spent the last two days discussing him. The actor did not comment on Swift’s work about him publicly, and on social media, he hasn’t posted anything either. During the event, he didn’t say anything about the work that any attendee or press documented—an understandable move given the focus was on his sister and a predictable one given Gyllenhaal’s past reactions to Swift and her music that’s seemingly about their three-month 2010 romance.
While “All Too Well” and Red originally came out in 2012, Gyllenhaal was touchy about the music and Swift even in 2017.
During a The Guardian interview then, the outlet’s journalist, Tim Jonze, asked Gyllenhaal if he was “playing with fire a little” by dating Swift given his preference for privacy.
Gyllenhaal got weird at that point, responding, “I think when you’re in a relationship, you are constantly scrutinized, your friends are scrutinized, but…” Then he just stared and did an exaggerated shrug. When asked if he listened to any of the songs rumored to be about him, he didn’t say anything. Ultimately, when Jonze asked if Gyllenhaal wanted to move on, he agreed. “I would love to not talk about my personal life.”
Although according to Swift, Gyllenhaal has likely heard the music. She spoke to New York magazine in 2013 and confirmed the subject of “All Too Well” heard the track. “I heard from the guy that most of Red is about,” Swift told the outlet then. “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.’ 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.”
Swift’s new, longer version of “All Too Well” contained some new zingers at her ex, including a brutal, spot-on observation: “And I was never good at telling jokes but the punch line goes / I’ll get older but your lovers stay my age,” as Gyllenhaal’s current girlfriend, model Jeanne Cadieu, is 25 years old. He is 40; he and Swift dated when he was 29, and she was 20.
Her All Too Well short film also contained a telling Easter egg: She listed the actor who played the man 13 years later as “Jake Lyon,” which can be read as a pun on “Jake [Gyllenhaal] Lying.”
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