Taylor Swift’s ‘All Too Well’? Jake Gyllenhaal says, ‘It has nothing to do with me’

Jake Gyllenhaal in a gray suit posing with his hand in his pocket
Actor Jake Gyllenhaal dated singer Taylor Swift in 2010.
(Kirk McKoy / Los Angeles Times)

In the name of being honest, Jake Gyllenhaal has finally responded to Taylor Swift’s “All Too Well” — a song widely believed to be about the singer’s fleeting relationship with the actor.

In an Esquire interview published Thursday, the Oscar nominee largely brushed off the media frenzy that followed the release of “Red (Taylor’s Version),” a rerecording of Swift’s fourth studio album that features an extended, 10-minute rendition of “All Too Well.”

In true Swiftian form, both the short and long versions of the song paint a picture of a toxic relationship in vivid, brutal detail that doesn’t reflect well on the person she’s singing about. (*Cough, cough* Gyllenhaal?)

‘You call me up again just to break me like a promise,’ Taylor Swift sang during a 10-minute performance of ‘All Too Well’ on ‘Saturday Night Live.’

Nov. 14, 2021

After the extended cut of “All Too Well,” arrived in November — along with a dramatic, 10-minute music video directed by Swift — an army of Swifties descended on Gyllenhaal, rejuvenated by a bounty of scathing new lyrics. (“I’m in a new hell every time you double-cross my mind,” “The idea you had of me, who was she?” and “I’ll get older, but your lovers stay my age” are just a few of the most devastating additions.)


“It has nothing to do with me. It’s about her relationship with her fans,” Gyllenhaal told Esquire when asked about the heartbreak anthem.

“It is her expression. Artists tap into personal experiences for inspiration, and I don’t begrudge anyone that.”

Pop superstar Taylor Swift has released her whopping 30-track album ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ with eight new songs and a short film for ‘All Too Well.’

Nov. 12, 2021

Amid this social media firestorm of memes, tweets and TikToks overwhelmingly shared at Gyllenhaal’s expense, both the “Ambulance” star and Swift have remained quiet about their months-long relationship, which ended in 2010 and supposedly inspired the song. But that hasn’t stopped fans from continuing to obsess.

Heck, even self-proclaimed Swift fan and unofficial Queen of Twitter Dionne Warwick has bought into the folklore of it all. In a viral tweet, the renowned singer ordered Gyllenhaal to return Swift’s scarf — which he allegedly kept because it reminds him of innocence and because it smells like her, Swift sings on “All Too Well.”

“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,” Gyllenhaal vaguely added in conversation with Esquire.

“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.”

She started the year by winning the album of the year Grammy. But it was two rapturously received rerecordings of her older albums that really grew her legend.

Dec. 17, 2021


After clarifying he wasn’t referring specifically to threats on his life, Gyllenhaal advocated generally for more empathetic communication. And for the record, he told Esquire he has not listened to “Red (Taylor’s Version).”

“My question is: Is this our future? Is anger and divisiveness our future? 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,” he continued.

“I think it is possible, yes. Of course. But I think many things are possible.”