He still can’t shake off Taylor Swift questions. Jake Gyllenhaal shut down an interviewer who asked about his history with the pop superstar, and according to the reporter’s account, the interaction was pretty awkward.
The Life actor, 36, explained to Guardian reporter Tim Jonze that he’s fiercely private. “I’m not necessarily guarded, but I consider intimacy to be very important and I don’t think everybody needs to know about my family or my personal details,” Gyllenhaal said. “I’m old school in that way.”
The journalist then asked why he would date Swift, who’s ben known to write songs about past romances. “For someone so intensely private, wasn’t it playing with fire a little to start dating her?” Jonze asked of his three-month relationship with the singer in fall 2010.
The Oscar nominee began to answer, but then trailed off. “I think when you’re in a relationship, you are constantly scrutinized, your friends are scrutinized, but … ,” he said. According to the reporter, Gyllenhaal then stared at him intensely and shrugged.
Things got even icier when Jonze wanted to know whether the actor had listened to any of Swift’s songs rumored to be about him, which include “We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together,” “Red” and “All Too Well.” Gyllenhaal didn’t respond, and the duo sat in silence. Eventually, he said, “I would love to not talk about my personal life.”
Jonze pushed back, arguing that it’s a response to things that have been put out in the public domain, but Gyllenhaal disagreed. He repeated, “I would love to talk about the movie.” Gyllenhaal is currently promoting the sci-fi horror film, Life (which costars Ryan Reynolds), about astronauts who discover life on Mars.
The Southpaw actor also alluded to the Swift question later in the interview while discussing a meeting with former president Barack Obama. “[Obama] told me: ‘You have a job as an artist to help people through difficult times, to illuminate things through art. That’s your job.’ And my parents have always said that, too,” he said. “And I’m sure you know it, because you seem like a very smart person who has done their research, particularly into tabloid research, which is obviously the most important of all research.”
He added: “It’s an irony to me when people say: ‘An entertainer or actor should not be political.’ Because it’s very easy to sideline people and, for instance, ask about past relationships or things that I believe are meant to be private.”