Everything we know about Taylor Swift’s mysterious boyfriend and muse, Joe Alwyn

  • Taylor Swift has been dating Joe Alwyn since at least 2016.
  • Like Swift, he maintains a relatively private and mysterious public persona, giving few interviews.
  • He’s an actor who got his big break with 2016’s “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk” and has a growing career as a model.
  • He also starred in “The Favourite,” “Mary Queen of Scots,” and “Boy Erased.”
  • Alwyn currently stars alongside Cynthia Erivo in “Harriet,” a film about abolitionist Harriet Tubman.
  • Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Taylor Swift’s current boyfriend and likely muse is Joe Alwyn, an actor and model.

The two have been dating since at least fall of 2016, shortly after Swift broke up with her previous boyfriend, Tom Hiddleston, but the precise timing is still uncertain.

Like Swift, Alwyn is in tight control of his media persona. He’s given a few interviews in the past year (mainly discussing his roles in “The Favourite,” “Mary Queen of Scots,” and “Boy Erased”) but is careful to conceal details about his relationship. The British actor also stars alongside Cynthia Erivo in “Harriet,” a new film about abolitionist Harriet Tubman.

Here are eight key things to know about Alwyn.


He got his big acting break with “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.”

caption
Joe Alwyn in “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.”
source
Sony Pictures Entertainment

Alwyn acted in London’s theater scene for a few years before starring in Ang Lee’s 2016 follow-up to “Life of Pi.” As a war satire, it was set up to be an Oscar contender, but all of that changed when critics actually watched it.

Nonetheless, Alwyn’s performance was praised. He went on to have a role on “The Sense of an Ending,” released in 2017 to good reviews.


Alwyn lives a low-key life.

caption
Joe Alwyn in April 2017.
source
Stuart C. Wilson/Getty Images

Before the news broke that he was dating Taylor Swift, Alwyn had just 3,000 Twitter followers, which he used only to promote “Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk.” He doesn’t use Instagram too often, despite now having more than 200,000 followers. Until 2018, he was living at home with his parents. Swift reportedly went on dates with him while wearing a wig to protect their privacy.


His parents taught him to love movies.

Alwyn’s father is a documentary filmmaker who made films in “crisis zones,” as Alwyn described. His mother is a psychotherapist. Both of them introduced him to the world of movies and theater.

“I’ve always grown up with [my father] showing me films and I’ve always loved going to the cinema,” Alwyn told People. “And my mum had taken me to the theater a lot, so I always wanted to be a part of that world in some way but didn’t quite know how or how to go about it.”

In high school, Alwyn dabbled in theater and then studied drama in college. Afterward, he went to the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama for three years to study acting.


Some songs on “Reputation” and Swift’s most recent album, “Lover,” reference him.

As long as Taylor Swift has been writing love songs, her fans have scrutinized them to figure out which real-life men they might be about.

Because Swift is dating Alwyn right now, her fans have peered into the lyrics of her songs from her last album, “Reputation” to figure out whether they’re about him.

For “Gorgeous” (from her “Reputation” album), there are some clues that the song may be about her love for his looks, but the details don’t totally line up with reality. And for “Call It What You Want,” it’s also possible that the song is about their relationship, but the precise meanings are still obscure.

Swift’s “Lover” album, which was released in August 2019, has clearer nods to the British actor. On the title track, the singer says that she’s “loved you for three summers now, honey, but I want ’em all.”

She also talks about marriage on the song “Paper Rings” and details the places they visited in England on “London Boy.”


Ed Sheeran approves.

caption
Ed Sheeran and Taylor Swift are good friends.
source
Anna Webber/Getty Images

In an October interview, Sheeran, one of Swift’s longtime friends and artistic collaborators, said Alwyn was a good guy.

“He’s really nice. Really, really friendly, really good dude,” Sheeran said. “They are very much in love, they have quite a low-key relationship, which Taylor likes. It’s normal, and no one really knows about it right now.”

Sheeran said their relationship is profoundly normal.

“They just work out, watch movies together and invite friends over,” Sheeran said. “Taylor loves to cook and bake for him. They are still taking it slow.”

The couple also attended Sheeran’s Jingle Ball performance in December 2018, one of their few public appearances together.


Prada made him the face of its spring and summer 2018 menswear collection.

caption
Joe Alwyn at the opening night premiere of “The Favourite” in 2018.
source
Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images

The actor modeled for the fashion brand’s menswear line.


He did a modeling photo shoot with Gigi Hadid.

caption
Gigi Hadid is a model.
source
Astrid Stawiarz/Getty Images

Alwyn’s Prada campaign isn’t his first modeling gig. For the September 2016 issue of Vogue, Alwyn modeled with Swift’s friend Gigi Hadid. Some Swift fans theorize that the couple met through the Hadid connection.


He auditioned for the role of Sam in “Love Actually.”

caption
Thomas Brodie-Sangster in “Love Actually.”
source
Universal

Alwyn told GQ UK that he recalled “reading some scenes” with star Hugh Grant and Richard Curtis, the film’s director and writer.

The role of Liam Neeson’s on-screen son ultimately went to Thomas Brodie-Sangster, who’s now known for his role as Newt in the “Maze Runner” movies.