Jake Gyllenhaal said in a new interview with Esquire magazine that he does not resent Taylor Swift over the extended version of “All Too Well” that was released last fall as part of her re-recorded album, “Red (Taylor’s Version).” The original song debuted in October 2012, and fans have long speculated that it covers events from Swift and Gyllenhaal’s three-month-or-so relationship. The extended “All Too Well” was released with an accompanying short film that reignited speculation about Gyllenhaal’s role in Swift’s heartbreak. Gyllenhaal received blowback from Swift fans online.
“It has nothing to do with me,” Gyllenhaal said when asked about “All Too Well.” “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 turned off his Instagram comments amid the media firestorm that greeted the “All Too Well” extended release, leading many to assume he was being directly affected by online harassment.
“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 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?” Gyllenhaal continued. “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.”
When asked if he ever listened to “Red (Taylor’s Version),” Gyllenhaal responded, “No.”
“Red (Taylor’s Version)” debuted in the No. 1 spot on the Billboard 200 album chart, while “All Too Well (Taylor’s Version)” also debuted at the top of the Billboard Hot 100. The track marked Swift’s eighth No. 1 single.
Head over to Esquire’s website to read Gyllenhaal’s interview in its entirety.