14 Little-Known Facts About Taylor Swift's Boyfriend Joe Alwyn

Taylor Swift has been linked to several men over the years, but her longest relationship (at least, as far as the public knows) has been with her long-time beau Joe Alwyn. Together, Alwyn and Swift have emerged as one of the entertainment world's leading power couples. Alwyn might not be as famous as his girlfriend, but let's be honest — few people are. The important thing is that Alwyn, an actor, doesn't seem threatened by his girlfriend being one of the world's most famous women. 

Alwyn and Swift have kept their relationship out of the public eye as much as possible. Swift's love life has infamously been torn apart by the press, and it seems she and Alwyn have taken precautions to prevent that from happening with their relationship. As Alwyn once told British GQ, "Someone's private life is, by definition, private. No one is obliged to share their personal life." 

Because of this, there are a lot of details about their life together that we don't know, but there are some little-known facts about Alwyn that Swifties will be thrilled to learn.

Joe Alwyn was raised in North London

Joe Alwyn was born on February 21, 1991, and was raised in north London in a middle-class family. His mother worked as a psychotherapist, while his father was a documentary filmmaker, as noted by W Magazine. His childhood seems to have been a pleasant one, marked by frequent visits to the theater. While he attended a private school, the City of London School, Alwyn made it clear in an interview with the Evening Standard that he didn't have an especially privileged upbringing. "I got there on a combination of scholarship and bursary," he said. "And because it offers bursaries and scholarships, you had people from all over. I liked that."

While at school, Alwyn was involved with sports but didn't participate much in the school's drama program, although he did study the subject. "I took it for GCSE and A-level, and loved that, but I wish I'd taken more advantage of the facilities beyond," he said in an interview with his alma mater. "There was a great theater at school. I'm not sure why I didn't do more. It was something that I knew I enjoyed, but part of me shied away from that side of things ... perhaps because I played a lot of sport, and that took up a fair amount of time."

He auditioned for Love Actually

Joe Alwyn was bitten by the acting bug as a teenager, after seeing Ben Whishaw (known for his roles in films such as "Cloud Atlas," "The Danish Girl," "The Lobster," and the "Paddington" movies, in which he voiced Paddington the bear) in a play. "I remember seeing him be Hamlet — I was 14 and thought, 'I want to do that...'" Alwyn told British GQ

Alwyn almost got his big break in the 2003 film "Love Actually," after being seen by a casting director at his fencing school and getting invited to audition for the part of Sam. "I didn't get it in the end, but I do remember meeting Hugh Grant and [screenwriter] Richard Curtis and sitting around reading some stuff," he said on "Live with Kelly and Ryan." 

The part ended up going to Thomas Brodie-Sangster instead, but Alwyn didn't give up on his dream of becoming an actor.

Joe Alwyn made his film debut in Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk

Joe Alwyn may not have been cast in "Love Actually," but big things were in store for the young actor. After earning a degree in English literature, he enrolled in drama school. His big break came just before he was set to graduate, when he was asked to fly to America to audition for "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk." "I literally left school and they put me on a plane," Alwyn told British GQ

Alwyn turned 24 on set, celebrating his birthday with the cast and crew of the film — all before he landed the part. Filmmaker Ang Lee ended up casting him in the lead role, launching Alwyn's career as he entered his mid-20s. 

Per Rotten Tomatoes, "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk" is based on a novel written by Ben Fountain and centers on a 19-year-old soldier who "becomes a hero after a harrowing Iraq battle and is brought home temporarily for a victory tour."

"I'd never been in a film before, let alone seen myself on the big screen before, so to have that experience of being in every single scene at a very high level of frame rate and clarity was a trip," Alwyn told IndieWire after the film's premiere. "It was an intense experience."

He has appeared in Oscar-nominated films

After starring in "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," other acting gigs quickly followed for Joe Alwyn, including roles in "The Sense Of An Ending," "The Favourite," "Mary Queen Of Scots," "Boy Erased," and "Operation Finale." 

While Alwyn has yet to nab an Oscar, some of the films he's been in have been Oscar contenders. "The Favourite" was nominated for a slew of awards in 2019, including an Oscar for best picture (via the Los Angeles Times). "Mary Queen of Scots" was nominated for two Oscars that same year. Both are period films. "Mary Queen of Scots" tells the tale of the doomed Scottish queen, with Alwyn playing the role of Robert Dudley; "The Favourite" is set in 18th-century England during the reign of Queen Anne, with Alwyn portraying Masham.

He might not be an Oscar winner, but Alwyn has received a lot of praise for his work. "Joe Alwyn is very, very good in 'The Favourite,'" wrote W Magazine. Filmmaker Ang Lee, who worked with Alwyn on "Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk," praised the star to GQ. "He's an exceptional actor," he said. "He had a talent which is rare in my experience, and I can spot it a mile away." Given just how successful he's been thus far, we can see Alwyn winning an Academy Award one day.

Joe's great-grandfather was a famous composer

Joe Alwyn comes by his passion for the performing arts honestly. While he doesn't come from an acting family, his great-grandfather was renowned composer William Alwyn. Per his biography on his official website, the older Alwyn wrote music for many genres, including film. His work in film includes scores for the movies "Penn of Pennsylvania," "The Rake's Progress," "The History Of Mr. Polly," "The Million Pound Note," "The Rocking Horse Winner," and "A Night To Remember." 

Sadly, William Alwyn died in 1985, which means he never got the chance to meet his great-grandson or see him make a name for himself in the film industry, but it's clear that Joe Alwyn did inherit some of his great-grandad's talent for music. Alwyn told Vulture that he grew up playing the piano and the guitar. While he also sings, he doesn't think that he has much vocal talent.

He's collaborated with Taylor Swift on music

Joe Alwyn told Vulture that he doesn't really consider himself as a musician, and that his collaboration on some of his girlfriend Taylor Swift's songs is just a fluke. According to Alwyn, he was just having fun when Swift heard him singing one day. "It was completely off the cuff, an accident," he said. "She said, 'Can we try and sit down and get to the end together?' And so we did."

What started off as Alwyn fiddling around with some chords and lyrics ended up creating the first verse of Swift's song, "Exile." Fans didn't know at first that Alwyn was collaborating with his girlfriend because he used a pen name. "We chose to do it so the people first and foremost would listen to the music first before dissecting the fact that we did it together," he explained on "The Kelly Clarkson Show" (via NME). "We did it under the name William Bowery ... It was a combination of William ... my great-grandfather ... and then Bowery is the area in New York that I spent a lot of time in when I first moved over there."

Per SecondHandSongs, Alwyn also has writing credits on Swift's "Betty," "Champagne Problems," "Coney Island," and "Evermore." As noted by Billboard, he also co-produced the songs "Exile," "Betty," "My Tears Ricochet," "August," "This Is Me Trying," and "Illicit Affairs," which won him a Grammy when "Folklore" was named album of the year in 2021.

Taylor Swift has written songs about Joe Alwyn

Joe Alwyn has helped add to the Taylor Swift discography in more ways than one. Not only has he helped pen some of her hits, but he's also inspired many others. Some of the songs written about Alwyn make clear references to their relationship, such as "London Boy," which is obviously about the born and bred Londoner. Then there's "Invisible String," which makes reference to Alwyn's teenage job at a frozen yogurt store, per CapitalFM. Other Swift songs about Alwyn, according to the outlet, include "'Peace," "Delicate," "Gorgeous," "King of My Heart," "Dress," "The Archer," "Lover," and "Cornelia Street." 

Of course, it's hard to be certain just how much of Swift's music is about Alwyn, but it's likely even more songs have at least some lyrics inspired by her beau. Some think that "Cardigan," for example, is an homage to the stability Alwyn has provided in her life, as noted by Elle.

When asked by The Times how he feels about being the subject of so many of Swift's songs, Alwyn gave a characteristically tight-lipped answer. "It's flattering," he said (via Grazia).

Joe Alwyn won't reveal whether he and Taylor Swift are engaged

Are Joe Alwyn and Taylor Swift ever going to tie the knot? Your guess is as good as ours. The notoriously private couple has been together since at least 2017; The Sun reported that May that the two had been seeing each other in secret for months. That June, a source told People that the couple was headed to Nashville so Alwyn could get to know the Swifts. 

Five years later, a source told The Sun that the couple had secretly gotten engaged. "Taylor has a beautiful ring, but she only wears it when she's at home — i.e., behind closed doors," the source claimed. "Again, only a handful of people know details about the wedding and Taylor hasn't even told some of her team about the engagement. They want their love to stay away from the cameras as much as possible. This is just for them."

The claims came just weeks after Alwyn weighed in on the persistent engagement rumors in an interview with The Wall Street Journal. "If I had a pound for every time I think I've been told I've been engaged, then I'd have a lot of pound coins," he said. Alwyn added, "I mean, the truth is, if the answer was yes, I wouldn't say, and if the answer was no, I wouldn't say."

Ryan Reynolds has sung Joe Alwyn's praises

If word of mouth is anything to go by, Joe Alwyn is a pretty great guy. From Ang Lee gushing about his acting talent to Ed Sheeran calling him a "really nice ... really friendly, really good dude" (via ET), people seem to like the actor. 

Ryan Reynolds is another of Alwyn's vocal fans. When Alwyn was named on the Time100 Next list in 2022, which recognizes "rising stars" spanning multiple industries globally, Reynolds penned a touching tribute to him for the outlet.

"I've known Joe Alwyn for six years — and that's long enough to see someone's heart. Long enough to know whether or not they're made of good stuff," began Reynolds' homage to Alwyn for Time. "And Joe Alwyn is made of good stuff." Reynolds went on to discuss Alwyn's charm and his talent, but added that there is a lot more to the star than dedication to his craft. "It's exciting to witness where he's been," he wrote. "More exciting to see where he's headed. But before I finish this tribute, it's imperative I mention his kindness, his generosity, and humanity."

Joe Alwyn is a millionaire

Joe Alwyn's hard work has paid off. According to Celebrity Net Worth, his career has amassed him a tidy fortune of $4 million — a sum that is sure to grow. While the details of his earnings per film are unknown, Cosmopolitan notes that he likely makes a pretty penny; "The Favourite" and "Mary Queen of Scots" grossed $100 million and $50 million, respectively, so it's safe to say that he made a good paycheck on those films. As his star continues to rise, it's likely that Alwyn will command even larger fees. 

Alwyn's net worth is even more impressive considering that he's only been in the acting game since 2016. While his net worth may seem like a paltry sum compared to his girlfriend Taylor Swift's jaw-dropping $400 million fortune, keep in mind that she got her start in the music business more than a decade before Alwyn landed his first film. No matter how you look at it, both of these stars are fabulously wealthy, and their combined fortune makes them even more of a force to be reckoned with.

He starred in Hulu's Conversations with Friends

In 2022, Joe Alwyn joined the cast of "Conversations with Friends," a Hulu television show adapted from the novel of the same name by Sally Rooney. Alwyn plays Nick, the husband of Melissa (played by Jemima Kirke), who starts to develop feelings for Frances (played by Alison Oliver). 

"Conversations with Friends" was Alwyn's first television show, and he found filming a TV series to be quite different from filming a movie. "Obviously, you hopefully feel invested in everything, but it's a different feeling being a part of something that you pop into maybe just for three weeks or two weeks or even a week, as opposed to actually sitting in something for that length of time and feeling really grounded and embedded in it," he told Entertainment Weekly of the experience. "It's really lovely and a luxury. The bonds that you form with people making it is really special. I really liked that we had a solid chunk of time on it."

Alwyn's performance was well-received and had Twitter in a frenzy, per Cosmopolitan UK. One viewer wrote, "after staring into joe alwyn's eyes for over 6 hours i now understand taylor swift's obsession with the colour blue."

Joe Alwyn starred in Stars at Noon

Following his role in "Conversations with Friends," Joe Alwyn starred in another book adaptation, "Stars at Noon." The 2022 film stars Margaret Qualley who, per Rotten Tomatoes, plays "a young American journalist stranded in present-day Nicaragua [who] falls for an enigmatic Englishman (Joe Alwyn) who seems like her best chance of escape."

As noted by Variety, the film adaptation of the 1986 novel by Denis Johnson updates the setting, changing it from taking place in the middle of the Nicaraguan Revolution to happening during the COVID-19 pandemic. In spite of Alwyn not being the first choice for the male lead — Robert Pattinson and Taron Egerton were both initially cast in the role — he was clearly right for the part. "Start at Noon" was well-received, tying for the Cannes Film Festival's prestigious Grand Prix prize. 

"I was very happy to kind of jump in. It was quite last minute," Alwyn told E! News of taking on the role. "I got a call saying, 'Would you speak to [director Claire Denis] this afternoon? And if you respond to the script, she'd love to talk to you.' And so I obviously did."

He has two brothers, Patrick and Thomas

In keeping with the ultra-private life he leads, Joe Alwyn's family life is something we don't know a whole lot about. However, we do know that he has two brothers, Patrick and Thomas. The siblings appear to be on good terms. In December 2018, ET reported that Taylor Swift had lunch with the Alwyn brothers in New York City. Swift even brought Patrick along to a meet-and-greet at a fan's house back in 2017, according to the Daily Mail, so it seems like they're pretty tight. 

Patrick has been linked to a couple of famous people himself. According to Cosmopolitan, he was seen palling it up with "Stranger Things" star Sadie Sink in 2021, and before that had been seen with Iris Apatow. Like Joe, Patrick and Thomas seem to be keeping out of the public eye; neither of them has a public Instagram account and, despite their famous connections, they have managed to avoid making headlines for the most part.