- 18 Feb 22
After the release of Taylor Swift's 'All Too Well (10 Minute Version)' the backlash against Jake Gyllenhaal was immediate and widespread. In a new interview, he finally addresses the controversy.
Jake Gyllenhaal has finally broken his silence on Taylor Swift's now-iconic 10-minute track, 'All Too Well.'
Taken from her November release, Red (Taylor's Version), the song chronicles the thoughts of twenty-year-old Taylor, as she faced manipulation and heartache in the face of an imbalanced relationship.
With lyrics like "you said if we were closer in age it would have been fine / that made me want to die," and "But then he watched me watch the front door all night, willing you to come / And he said, "It's supposed to be fun turning twenty-one," fans made the natural assumption that the song was written about Gyllenhaal, who was 29-years-old to Swift's 20 when the pair dated.
"It has nothing to do with me,” he said in a new interview with Esquire. “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."
It's a bold claim, when the Blake Lively-directed All Too Well short film recreates photos of the highly-publicised relationship with precision. The actor has been seen wearing the iconic red scarf referenced several times in the lyrics. The line "And I was never good at telling jokes, but the punch line goes / 'I'll get older, but your lovers stay my age'" is hard to view as anything other than a dig at Gyllenhaal.
Since the track's initial release in 2012, Swift's fans have been wary of The Guilty actor.
There was immediate, widespread backlash after the full version of the track was released. It came to the point where hating Jake Gyllenhaal debatably became a quasi-cultural movement — from scenes of people screaming "fuck Jake!" in clubs, to fans actively boycotting his films. Upon the release of Red (Taylor's Version), the Brokeback Mountain star turned off his Instagram comments, and according to Esquire never listened to the album.
"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," he continued. "How do we provoke a conversation? My question is: Is this our future?"
It seems that to Jake, the experience, though personal, provided an important opportunity for wider social commentary. Or, he was just avoiding the question.
His final thoughts on the matter were; "is anger and divisiveness our future? Or can we be empowered and empower others while simultaneously putting empathy and civility into the dominant conversation?"
Ultimately, it seems that Gyllenhaal will forever be branded by 'All Too Well' — regardless of whether he was the "casually cruel," boyfriend, or not.
Listen to 'All Too Well (10 Minute Version)' below.
- Film & TV
- 05 Nov 21