Taylor Swift, Tom Hiddleston, LAX


Tom Hiddleston has been famous for a long time, his celebrity, particularly in his native England, dating back some years before Loki stole the show right out from under Thor's hammer.

But even rumors that he was going to be the next James Bond didn't lead to anywhere near the sort of attention he's getting now, as the novelty tank-top-sporting boyfriend of Taylor Swift.

Which is not to say that the Emmy nominee won't continue to be judged entirely by his merits as an Eton-educated thespian in the court of Academy voters. It's just everyone else who's hanging on his every word in hopes of catching some clues that refer to his Grammy-winning girlfriend.

So with all of those people in mind, and two weeks' worth of X's marking the days in which they haven't been seen together, it's time for a status check on the Hiddleswift union.

Taylor has said nary a public word about her new relationship, leaving their Instagram debut as a couple to another attendee at her Fourth of July party to post. Interest in their romance was even overshadowed at one point—a feat that had not seemed possible just days prior—when the artist got pulled into the most fascinating social media time suck of the summer.

But Tom, being the gentleman that he is (not to mention, it was Comic-Con time and he's pretty much required to get out there and promote his movies), has by default assumed the role of spokesman for the couple—a role he had to ease into, but one that, well...he better get used to, at least until it's Taylor's turn to hit the circuit and promote. Either that, or better beef up his repertoire of impressions so he's got at least seven solid minutes of material.

Tom Hiddleston Decoded GIFs

So here's how things have been going all along, in Hiddleston's own words, including the "um's":

The Body Language: First, though, let's take a moment to thoroughly dissect what he wasn't saying. While a lot of the early caught-on-camera moments looked staged to some people, particularly because the beginnings of Taylor's relationships have always looked a little picture-perfect, if we remove her from the frame and just look at him...sure, why not?

Just because we had never paid attention to Tom in those scenarios before (his last long-term relationship seems to have been with Wallander co-star Susannah Fielding and they broke up in 2011) doesn't mean that's not how he rolls in the romance department. Holding hands, rolled-cuff button-downs on the beach, sand in his oxfords, laughing and talking and strolling among the ruins...

Yes, we're writing song lyrics.

And though they traversed three continents together before breaking their silence, the conspiracy-theorizing could only go on for so long before someone put something concrete on the books. But first...

Tom Hiddleston

Splash News

No, Thank You: Paparazzi and reporters caught up with Tom when he was on a jog in Australia, where Taylor had joined him while he shot Thor 3, and asked how she was enjoying "the beautiful Gold Coast."

"Um, I...er, I'm...I'm not going to answer that, if that's all right," he managed to squeeze out. But one intrepid journalist even asked, "Is Taylor Swift 'the One'?" Hats off to Tom for not shrieking and sprinting away, actually, but he benignly replied, "I'd rather just talk about my work, if that's all right." Also asked if Taylor needed a vacation, he stammered, "I can't speak for her."

So, yeah, you know, she's...fine. Better get back to the hotel, pronto, for a debriefing on how to handle such awkward encounters in the future.

The Confirmation: On the horn with The Hollywood Reporter from Australia, where he's been back and forth shooting Thor 3, Tom was asked flat-out on July 14 about claims that Hiddleswift was "some sort of publicity stunt."

"Well, um," he answered, THR communicating Tom's signature smiley struggle for the right words. "How best to put this? How best to put this? That notion is—look, the truth is that Taylor Swift and I are together, and we're very happy. Thanks for asking. That's the truth. It's not a publicity stunt."

Taylor Swift, Tom Hiddleston

Backgrid AU / AKM-GSI

Tom also happened to have just been nominated for his first Emmy for his role as an intrepid, suave accidental spy in the BBC-by-way-of-AMC limited series The Night Manager, so a few people got to ask him about the other production he was currently working on.

"We are together and we're very happy," he also told MTV NewsTHR also asked if he knew who he'd be bringing as his date to the Emmys on Sept. 18, and he blushed (we're projecting now) and said, "I don't. I didn't even know I could. It's 4 in the morning here!" Then he laughed.

Isn't he cute? He probably thought, Well, now, that ought to put an end to it. I've totally obliterated those conspiracy theories with politeness—and civilized people understand the merits of reserved, gentlemanly conduct. 

Tom Hiddleston Decoded GIFs

Once upon a time, in April, before everything, he told Variety, "[People, including some media] think my fans are hysterical and delusional, whereas I've found them to be fans of the work. I think perhaps people tend to group all fans of everyone all together and make them one homogeneous amorphous beast driven only by adoration. I've always thought of 'fans' as another word for an audience." 

That may beg a follow-up question.

To Thine Own Self Be True: The stage and screen veteran discussed the importance of having the courage of one's convictions, because then it doesn't matter what other people think. "I don't know, it comes down to being authentic," he told People at Comic-Con on July 24, when asked about his more-eventful-than-usual summer. 

"Everything you do, you have to make sure you truly believe in it and as long as you know that, it doesn't matter what anyone else says about it because the nature of being a public figure is that everyone will have an opinion about anything you do, and as long as you know why you've done something and you've committed to it with authenticity then you're okay."

People must have graciously glossed over the "um's."

Tom Hiddleston, Comic-Con 2016

Kevin Winter/Getty Images

So basically, that was a really fancy way of saying: "Nope, still not putting you on and we don't care what you think, this is me, folks...But yeah, I've been getting a lot of attention. You know, you read about things, but...you never think it's going to happen to you."

But sure, who doesn't want a significant other who'll commit to you with utmost authenticity?

He Saw the Light: At a SAG-AFTRA Q&A about The Night Manager held Aug. 12 in L.A., Tom, while also talking about playing tragic country singer Hank Williams in I Saw the Light (doing his own singing in the process), he told the moderator, "I suddenly understood why people [become singers] forever. There's an extraordinary effect that music has on people, it creates such joy immediately."

That could be kinda like when Taylor told an audience she loved Scottish people back in the early days of her relationship with Calvin Harris. Or it could simply be the reaction he had to playing one of the most storied country artists of all time, a conclusion he arrived while trying to make his performance and interpretation of the music as authentic as possible, all the way back in late 2014 when he shot the film in Nashville.

Tom Hiddleston, THR


"Um...:" Pretty sure Tom's had it. Not with dating Taylor, but this isn't what he signed up. Even if he had researched what he was signing up for, he didn't really know what was in store. It's no one's fault. You can't know. There's a reason why Taylor said herself, pre-Calvin, that she just didn't see how a relationship could work with the state of her celebrity being what it was.

"Dating or finding someone is the last thing on my mind, because I can't picture how it could work with the way my life is," she said in British Vogue's November 2014 issue. "I don't know how a guy is supposed to walk next to his girlfriend when there are 20 men with cameras, and he can't protect his girlfriend because that's the life she chose. I just don't see how it could work, so I don't think about it, and I kind of run from it when it presents itself 'cause I don't think any guy really...They think that they would want to get to know me and maybe date me, but I don't think they want what comes with it."

Tom Hiddleston

Splash News

Yes, that's actually really sad. Taylor shouldn't be disqualified from the game, she just has to play it at an accelerated level. Someone will be the guy who can handle all of the above, but we aren't convinced yet that it's Tom.

In a Facebook Live sit-down last week with The Hollywood Reporter, he was asked (in a question submitted by a fan) what he's learned about the "culture of celebrity" from his "high-profile summer."

"Wow," Tom said, perhaps a little stunned that after 20 minutes of pleasant talk about the craft, someone had lowered the boom. "Well, ah...You know, it's interesting. Um, we all sort of live in a world where, um, every phone, you know, has a camera and...There's nothing new, really, about the, um, the spotlight on me. I think there's, you know, the spotlight, that's what happens when you're a public figure. What have I learned about it? Um...I've learned to...

"I don't quite know," he turned to the camera and smiled, adding, "Maybe it's too soon to tell. But um..." he actually straightened up in his chair and continued to muse over the question. "Let me give you a proper response...I've learned that there are many sides to a story and that, um, that sometimes there are a lot of stories out there which are false." (He made a "yup, hate to break it to you" face at that point.) And the hardest thing is to try to not let those falsehoods affect your own life, that's what I would say."

Let us reiterate that those "um's" are charming, not shifty, and he's always been a bit of an "um"-er. 

So with that all that being said, and the interest in their relationship not going away (never, ever), there have been signs of life in the Hiddleswift universe. Tom and Taylor started following each other on Instagram last week, and according to Us Weekly they just spent the weekend together at her place in Rhode Island after he wrapped up his L.A. interviews. There's still no pictorial evidence of the together part of their rendezvous, but we'll just continue to wait and see.

As someone more or less said, it's too soon to tell where they're going next.

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