Jake Gyllenhaal is responding to Taylor Swift’s breakup song “All Too Well” more than a decade after their whirlwind three-month relationship back in 2010. After Swift re-recorded and released Red (Taylor’s Version) in November, complete with a 10-minute version of “All Too Well,” Gyllenhaal reflected on the renewed attention in a new profile for Esquire.
It has nothing to do with me. It’s about her relationship with her fans,” Gyllenhaal said when asked about the track. “It is her expression. Artists tap into personal experiences for inspiration, and I don’t begrudge anyone that.” While the months following Swift’s November release weren’t difficult for him, The Guilty actor did acknowledge all the attention directed his way on social media.
“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.”
He added, “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.” All that being said, Gyllenhaal told the interviewer he hadn’t listened to the album, concluding, “I’m not unaware that there’s interest in my life. 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.”
Gyllenhaal and Swift dated briefly in 2010, but their relationship went on to inspire several of the Grammy winner’s songs, including “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together.” In 2013, Swift told New York Magazine she had been in touch with her ex after the album’s debut. “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,” the singer recalled at the time. “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.