Taylor Swift Hints Jake Gyllenhaal Spoke to Her About "Red" Songs Based on Him

Entertainment Nov. 18, 2013 AT 9:50AM
Taylor Swift on the cover of New York Magazine Taylor Swift on the cover of New York Magazine

Jake Gyllenhaal, the mensch? Taylor Swift covers this week's issue of New York magazine, and in the extensive story, entitled "Why Taylor Swift Is the Biggest Pop Star in the World," the 23-year-old wunderkind opens up about her platinum-selling penchant for parlaying her love life into smash records. And, although the "I Knew You Were Trouble" singer continues not to name names, she reveals to the magazine that she's "heard from the guy that most of Red is about."

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That guy, by all accounts, is 32-year-old Gyllenhaal, who famously romanced the country-pop sensation for about two intense months almost exactly three years ago, only to break her heart when 2011 arrived. But the "Source Code" hunk believed to have inspired the anthem "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together" and other Red hits wasn't angry about the breakup songs, Swift says.

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"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," an impressed Swift recalls. "Nicer than, like, the ranting, crazy e-mails I got from this one dude."

Continues the star, whose other exes include Connor Kennedy, Harry Styles, Joe Jonas, John Mayer and others: "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. So what are you going to do? Did you not Wikipedia me before you called me up [for a date]?"

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Sounding more healthily self-aware than ever, Swift defends her musical impulse to wear her heart on her sleeve speaking with New York. "I think that allowing yourself to feel raw, real emotions in public is something I am never going to be afraid to do. Hopefully that's the case, if I can remain a real human," she says.

"I'm fine with being honest with my fans about the fact that it’s okay that everything isn't okay all the time," Swift reasons. "I love my life, I love my career, I love my friends — but things are not okay all the time. So I don't sing about things being okay all the time."

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The Grammy winner does clear up one misconception, though: Not every single man she dates becomes song fodder. "If I go on two dates with a guy and we don't click, I'm not writing a song about that," says Swift, who explains she only writes "songs about crazy love."

In fact, her life -- especially the boring parts -- isn't as much of an open book as fans would assume. "There's a lot that goes on in daily life that isn’t really worth turning into a verse and a chorus."

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