After a hiatus from the spotlight, Taylor Swift is back.
Granted, it may be a while until we hear new music from the pop superstar, but she is certainly back in the headlines, as The Sun reports that she has been secretly in a relationship with British actor Joe Alwyn. Learn about Alwyn, his career, and his romance with T. Swift through these five facts.
1. He Is An Actor
Alwyn, 26, is an actor who’s most notable role to date has been in the wartime drama Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk (2016). Director Ang Lee cast him just two days after he had left drama school, and was subsequently flown out to Georgia to meet Lee and the rest of the cast, which included Vin Diesel, Kristen Stewart, Steve Martin, and Chris Tucker. The film received mixed reviews from critics, but Alwyn received praise for his performance in the title role, providing what David Rooney of The Hollywood Reporter deemed “an absorbing character study.”
Later that year, Hollywood Reporter dubbed Alwyn “Hollywood’s Next Big Thing” and gave him a cover story that delved into his upbringing and his unlikely path the stardom. Alwyn will next appear in the drama The Sense of an Ending, opposite Michelle Dockery and Charlotte Rampling.
2. He Lives With His Parents In London
Despite his attained success, Alwyn still lives with his parents in his hometown of Crouch End in North England. His mother is a psychotherapist and his father, true to his show business career, is a documentary filmmaker. Alwyn studied at the National Youth Theatre in London, and would later study drama at the University of Bristol.
When asked about what it was like to jump from struggling actor to star of a Hollywood drama, Alwyn told The Hollywood Reporter: “It happened incredibly quickly. But at the heart of it [the film], the story is about a boy finding his place in the world. Although that takes place within this framework of this halftime show and the and all these bigger things swirling around him, its heart is something relatable.”
3. He And Swift Have Been Dating For Months
The Sun reports that he and Swift have actually been seeing each other for months behind closed doors. Swift has apparently been renting a house in North London so that she and Alwyn could be with each other nearly every day.
Apparently, in a contrast to the surprise that broke to the rest of the world, Swift and Alwyn’s friends were well aware of the relationship: “Taylor and Joe’s closest friends and their families were aware they have been together for several months, and have known each other for a longtime.”
4. Swift Kept Their Romance A Secret
Swift took drastic–borderline comedic– precautions to keep her relationship with Alwyn a secret. According to The Sun, the “Shake It Off” singer disguised herself on several occasions– wearing wigs and various other cosmetic changes to keep things under wraps. A source tells the outlet that “after what happened with Tom Hiddleston, they were determined to keep it quiet.”
Hiddleston, a fellow British actor, was Swift’s last relationship, and what started off innocently enough quickly became burned by the searing lights of the tabloids. According to Us magazine, Swift put the brakes on their dating, saying that “I don’t think there’s an option for me to fall in love slowly,” and that things were simply going in the wrong direction: “We used to be flying. Now we’re falling. What happened?”
5. Friends Are Saying It’s ‘The Real Deal’
That same source went on to tell The Sun that “Taylor has flown in private jets and her security has made it a military-like mission to prevent her from being seen.” Why you might ask? Because it seems as though Swift and Alwyn are getting serious– at least, according to a close friend: “This isn’t a new couple alert or a secret relationship– the only people this has been a secret to is the media.” The source added that Swift and Alwyn “are the real deal.”
“After her 1989 tour and all the attention Taylor received,” said the source, “She learned she had to be more protective of her personal life and she and Joe decided early on to keep their private live private.” Only time will tell how their relationship will fare now that’s in out in the open.