For the first time since its release, Jake Gyllenhaal has publicly discussed the extended, 10-minute version of Taylor Swift‘s ‘All Too Well’, a song long rumoured to be about their past relationship.
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The extended cut, which featured on Swift’s re-recorded version of 2012 album ‘Red’ last year, was the original version of the song Swift first wrote before she cut it down to the five-and-a-half-minute one that appeared on ‘Red’. It features additional verses and arrived alongside an accompanying short film.
Fans of Swift have long believed the song draws on her romantic relationship with Gyllenhaal between October 2010 to March 2011.
Following the release of ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ and the extended version of ‘All Too Well’ in November, speculation that the song was written about Gyllenhaal reemerged, and the actor received a wave of backlash from Swift’s fans on his social media accounts – so much so that he turned comments off on Instagram.
Gyllenhaal, in an interview with Esquire published February 17, has opened up about the experience. “It has nothing to do with me. It’s about her relationship with her fans,” the actor responded when journalist Eric Sullivan mentioned ‘All Too Well’. “It is her expression. Artists tap into personal experiences for inspiration, and I don’t begrudge anyone that.”
But Gyllenhaal went on to ponder celebrities’ roles in ensuring their followers do not engage in online harassment – an issue that has become increasingly prominent in recent years when it comes to pop stars and their fan communities.
“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? 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 whether he had listened to the re-recording of ‘Red’, Gyllenhaal said that he hadn’t.
‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’ arrived in November last year. Following ‘Fearless (Taylor’s Version)’, it’s the second of six albums Swift will re-record in order to regain control of her back catalogue, after the original master recordings of songs from her 2006 self-titled debut up to 2017’s ‘Reputation’ were sold off without her permission.
In four-star review of ‘Red (Taylor’s Version)’, NME‘s Hannah Mylrea said the 10-minute-long version of ‘All Too Well’ stole the show, writing: “Now at its full intended length, ‘All Too Well’ only confirms its place as an epic, with the Swiftian story played out as the instrumental ebbs and flows behind her vocals.”