Since its release in 2012, Swift fans have viewed ‘All Too Well’ as a valedictory to Swift’s three month relationship with Gyllenhaal. Last year’s extended reboot came paired with a narrative music video, which furthered speculation among Swift’s fanbase that Gyllenhaal was a lousy partner.
But, while Gyllenhaal is aware of the song, he told Esquire, “It has nothing to do with me. It’s about her relationship with her fans.” He went on: “It is her expression. Artists tap into personal experiences for inspiration, and I don’t begrudge anyone that.”
Gyllenhaal also said that he hasn’t listened to Red (Taylor’s Version). Gyllenhaal’s reaction echoes Swift own reflections on ‘All Too Well’ during an interview with Late Night’s Seth Meyers last November.
“I used to get so sad when I would sing [‘All Too Well’] that I could barely, like, get through the song,” she said. “And then over time I realised that the fans were screaming the words back to me so loudly that it made it a very joyful experience for me to sing this song.”
Swift also said the ten minute version of ‘All Too Well’ is as old as the song itself. “But I was like, ‘Oh you’ve got to fit something on an album,’ so that’s unreasonable, for it to be ten minutes long. And so I had to cut out certain verses and parts of the bridge and a lot of different things that I really loved.”