It seems everyone would like to be excluded from this narrative.
In the last month, both Jake Gyllenhaal and Tom Hiddleston have both tried to avoid the topic of Taylor Swift. But try as they might, the actors' refusal to discuss the ins and outs of their love lives has only heightened the public's interest. "I think when you're in a relationship, you are constantly scrutinized, your friends are scrutinized, but ..." Gyllenhaal told The Guardian Sunday. After a pause, the Life star conceded, "I would love to not talk about my personal life."
In fact, Gyllenhaal said, "I would love to talk about the movie."
The Guardian article made sure to mention Gyllenhaal's "cold smile" and "intense eyes" during the line of questioning, adding that he gave an "exaggerated shrug" when the probe continued. According to writer Tim Jonze, it was then that the atmosphere became "uncomfortably tense."
An exaggeration, perhaps? A difference in perception? Either way, Gyllenhaal isn't the only one being asked about Swift. Just weeks earlier, The Telegraph's John Hiscock claimed Hiddleston responded "testily" when his relationship with Swift was brought up. "What should I regret, in your mind?" the Kong: Skull Island star said. "I would rather not talk about this, if that's alright."
Who could blame him? After all, he and Gyllenhaal have been burned after discussing Swift in interviews. Hiddleston had hoped that if he spoke about his former relationship once—in GQ's March issue—people would lose interest. In spite of the attention Hiddleston and Swift's high-profile romance received, "You have to fight for love. You can't live in fear of what people might say," he said. "You know, you have to be true to yourself. I'm not going to live my life in hiding."
Swift, no doubt, shares that sentiment. For years, the singer-songwriter has fielded questions about everyone from Calvin Harris and Harry Styles, only to bat them away in the hopes of returning the focus to her music. Over time, she grew tired of pretending to laugh when other stars would make a "weird joke" about her love life at award shows. Not only did the constant jokes overshadow her professional accomplishments, but as she explained in an interview with The Telegraph in 2015, no normal man would ever "sign up for this and everything that goes with it. Like, 'Hi, nice to meet you. Want a date? Do you love camera flashes? I hope you do!'"
Like Swift, Hiddleston recently told Today's Savannah Guthrie that he makes "a clear distinction" between his private and professional personas. Gyllenhaal is just as serious about his career—and that's what he wants people to understand. "I have a firm belief that I enter space with an open heart and a mind that's strong enough to protect it," he told The Guardian. "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. I'm old school in that way."