The last time Taylor Swift debuted a handsome British actor as her new love interest, reviews weren’t great. America’s introduction to Tom Hiddleston came via exclusive tabloid shots of he and Swift on a rocky beach in Rhode Island, and the only thing more stilted than the frolicking was the photography. All of it is blissfully irrelevant now, though: In 2017, Swift has a new album and a new boyfriend, and naturally, she’s engineered a strategic link between the two in the public imagination.
Overnight, Swift was spotted shooting a video in London, according to TMZ and social media reports. The locations suggest a “first visit to London” theme: a double-decker bus, a black cab, the Millennium Bridge footpath, a kebab shop. If the new clip directly involves Swift’s latest paramour, the London-born actor Joe Alywn, he’s not been spotted. If it’s indeed a music video, it could be “…Ready For It?,” the single whose lyrics seem to hint towards Alwyn (“younger than my exes but he act like a such a man, so”); on the other hand, a reported on-set phone lockdown might indicate a new single.
But before we get answers to any of the obvious questions, we’ve learned of the video’s significance in Swiftian cosmology. “The video shows Taylor on a night out. All of the locations are places she has been to with Joe,” a source conveniently tells U.K. paper The Telegraph. “She has spent months quietly going under the radar in London this year and has been out a lot more than anybody realizes. […] It is quite telling that she has been hanging out in these regular and unexpected places […] She wants to show people she is just a normal girl.”
Coincidentally, that’s how another anonymous source described the couple’s relationship to the Daily Mail last month: “Things are getting serious between them, and Taylor wants to spend as much time getting to know Joe’s world as possible.” Back in September, Swift and Alwyn were rumored to be evading press attention by… staying with famous model Cara Delevingne.
I, too, enjoy quietly bestowing instant celebrity on kebab shops and pursuing an under-the-radar relationship by stopping traffic in a global capital to film a music video about it. Joe, buddy, you’re gonna live to regret this.
Reputation is out November 10. Meanwhile, here’s who every other Taylor Swift song is about.