Tom Hiddleston would rather not talk about Taylor Swift, thank you very much.
In an interview with The Telegraph published Monday, the 36-year-old Kong: Skull Island actor bristled when his short-lived romance with the singer was mentioned. Asked if he regretted "the publicity and gossip the romance engendered," the newspaper said Hiddleston "testily" replied, "What should I regret, in your mind? I would rather not talk about this, if that's alright."
After "a long pause, with his hand on his chin," Hiddleston explained why he's uninterested in discussing his three-month love affair with Swift, 27. "I'm just thinking about this. Everyone is entitled to a private life. I love what I do and I dedicate myself with absolute commitment to making great art and great entertainment, and in my mind I don't conflict the two. My work is in the public sphere and I have a private life," he clarified. "And those two things are separate."
Hiddleston spent the summer splashed across the tabloids, something he'd never experienced. So, after he finished production on Thor: Ragnarok last fall, the actor decided went on a self-imposed hiatus to clear his head. "I have been working very hard and been away from home for the last three or four years, and I just needed to take a moment to catch up with myself. I've been in London for the last four months and I'm just having a breather and catching up and spending time with my family and friends," he told The Telegraph, "which has been really nice."
With Kong: Skull Island hitting theaters Friday, Hiddleston was well aware the Swift questions would be coming. But he'd hoped that by discussing their romance in detail in GQ's March issue, there wouldn't be anything left to talk about. Ironically, he answered the very question posed by The Telegraph, confessing he had no regrets about the world's most famous pop star. And why should he? "You have to fight for love. You can't live in fear of what people might say," he explained. "You know, you have to be true to yourself. I'm not going to live my life in hiding."
Though Swift has not publicly discussed their time together, Hiddleston had only kind things to say about the singer-songwriter. "Taylor is an amazing woman," he said. "She's generous and kind and lovely, and we had the best time." As for why they called things off in September, he admitted, "A relationship always takes work. And it's not just the limelight. It's everything else."
When Savannah Guthrie mentioned his relationship with Swift on NBC's Today Tuesday, Hiddleston let out a heavy sigh before laughing at the question. After a thoughtful pause, the actor answered, "Well, um...Yeah. It's...You know, I make a clear distinction between my work, which I absolutely dedicate myself to, which is for the public. I really believe in that relationship between an actor and the audience, and...you can't call yourself an actor without the public."
The point, Hiddleston reiterated, is that his "private life is private."
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(Originally published on Tuesday, March 7, 2017, at 3:20 a.m. PDT.)