Andrew Scott Reacts to Taylor Swift Album & Joe Alwyn Chat Connection

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Originally appeared on E! Online

Andrew Scott is setting the record straight about that infamous group chat.

Nearly two years after Joe Alwyn and Paul Mescal revealed they were in a group chat with the Ripley star called "Tortured Man Club"—a thread that gained new notoriety amid the release of the The Tortured Poets Department by Joe's ex Taylor Swift—Andrew gave insight into the true origins of the text chain.

"Let me tell you what that is!" Andrew told Variety in an article published May 22. "They were about to play these tortured characters, and I had played a tortured character in Fleabag. It wasn't about our own characteristics!"

And although he created the group chat to connect Paul, who starred in the adaptation of Sally Rooney's Normal People and Joe ahead of his work on Conversations with Friends, it quickly fell off. As Andrew, 47, put it, "I think there were three texts, like, ‘Hey, guys.' You know those groups that you set up, and they just collapse."

All of Taylor Swift's Songs Inspired By Joe Alwyn

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Of course, Joe, 33, and Paul, 28, had already noted the thread had dried up.

"It hasn't had much use recently," Joe—who split from Taylor after six years last spring—admitted during their 2022 Variety chat, to which Paul replied, "I feel like we're less tortured now."

The trio may have left their typewriters back at their respective apartments, but that didn't mean Andrew enjoyed The Tortured Poets Department any less.

"Taylor's new album is sensational!" Andrew gushed to Variety. "I texted her yesterday to say how amazing it is."

Andrew Scott, Joe Alwyn, Lena Dunham
David M. Benett/Dave Benett/WireImage

The Fleabag star noted that his favorite song was "The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived," and couldn't contain his admiration for the 14-time Grammy winner.

He continued, "I think she is just a force of nature, just an extraordinary human, and this album is really, really amazing."

In addition to the possible subtle nod to Andrew's text thread with Taylor's ex, The Tortured Poets Department includes dozens of Easter eggs. Keep reading to crack them all.

<p><strong>"Fortnight" (featuring Post Malone): </strong>In the first track of <em>TTPD</em>, <strong>Taylor Swift</strong> and <strong>Post Malone</strong> team up to sing about a "temporary" romance that lasted for a fortnight (two weeks).</p> <p>"And I love you, it's ruining my life," the lyrics tease. "I touched you, for only a fortnight."</p> <p>It appears the song is a reference to Taylor's <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:rekindled romance;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">rekindled romance</a> with <strong>The 1975</strong>'s <strong>Matty Healy</strong>, which first began in 2014 and revived a decade later in the spring of 2023 following <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:her breakup;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">her breakup</a> with <strong>Joe Alwyn</strong>. </p> <p>And although the revival of Taylor and Matty's relationship was brief, it was jam-packed with emotion, according to these lyrics. </p> <p>She told iHeartRadio the opening number is "fatalistic" just like the rest of the "tragic" album. </p>

<p><strong>"The Tortured Poets Department":</strong> While fans <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:previously pointed out the connection;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">previously pointed out the connection</a> between the album's name <em>TTPD</em> and Joe's <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:WhatsApp group chat;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">WhatsApp group chat</a> called "The Tortured Man Club," the titular song actually includes references to Matty.</p> <p>Even the track's opening lyrics, "You left your typewriter at my apartment," gives a nod to Matty, who noted he "really" likes typewriters <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:in a 2019 interview;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">in a 2019 interview</a> with <em>GQ</em>.</p> <p>Later on in the song, the lyrics offer more insight into Taylor and Matty's strong bond. Taylor even recalls, "At dinner you take my ring off my middle finger and put it on the one people put wedding rings on. And that’s the closest I’ve come to my heart exploding."</p> <p>Taylor's lyrics also include shoutouts to poet <strong>Dylan Thomas</strong>—"you're not Dylan Thomas"—and singer-songwriter <strong>Patti Smith</strong>—"I'm not Patti Smith." As well as <strong>Charlie Puth</strong>. "You smoked then ate seven bars of chocolate / We declared Charlie Puth should be a bigger artist."</p>

<p><strong>"My Boy Only Breaks His Favorite Toys":</strong> "I'm queen of sandcastles he destroys," Taylor sings on the third song on the album, in which she recalls a partner who ran away from their relationship. </p> <p>"Cause I knew too much / There was danger in the heat of my touch," the lyrics note. "Saw forever so he smashed it up."</p> <p>The Grammy winner told iHeartRadio the track is a "metaphor from the perspective of a child's toy," where the kid breaks the toy and doesn't want to play with it anymore—just like in relationships, where "we're so valued in the beginning." It's about the denial that the romance can't go back to that.</p> <p>She previously compared lovers to toys in 2019's "Cruel Summer," in which she sang, "Bad, bad boy, shiny toy with a price / You know that I bought it."</p>

<p><strong>"Down Bad": </strong>In the lyrics to this song, Taylor reflects on being ghosted by a guy, who she calls her "twin," after being infatuated by him.</p> <p>"How dare you think it's romantic / Leaving me safe and stranded," she sings. "Cause f--k it, I was in love / So f--k you if I can't have us."</p> <p>The "stranded" lyric may sound familiar to Swifties, given that Taylor uses it in the 1989 song "New Romantics": "Please leave me stranded / It's so romantic."</p> <p>Taylor admitted to iHeartRadio that "Down Bad" compares the "idea of being love bombed—where someone rocks your world and dazzles you and then kind of abandons you—as an alien abduction." The artist said when the character was "dropped back off" in her hometown, she misses the other "weird" world.</p> <p>"I've just been exposed to a whole different galaxy and universe I didn't know was possible," Taylor explained. "How can you just put me back where I was before?"</p>

<p><strong>"So Long, London": </strong>Taylor has been known to reserve track five for her most heartbreaking songs, and, yes, "<a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:So Long, London;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">So Long, London</a>" definitely fits the bill.</p> <p>In this track, Taylor reflects on the end of her relationship with Joe (who previously inspired "London Boy") and the memories they shared in the city together over the years. She also alludes to <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:what led to the demise of their relationship;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">what led to the demise of their relationship</a>. </p> <p>"I didn't opt in to be your odd man out," she sings. "I founded the club she's heard great things about / I left all I knew, you left me at the house by the Heath."</p>

<p><strong>"But Daddy I Love Him": </strong> Taylor raised eyebrows when she spent time with Matty, <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:who's been called out for his controverisal comments over the years;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">who's been called out for his controverisal comments over the years</a>. In "But Daddy I Love Him," she addresses a similar theme of wanting a relationship to work despite criticism from the outside world.</p> <p>"No I'm not coming to my senses," she declares. "I know it's crazy but he's the one I want."</p> <p><strong>"Fresh Out the Slammer": </strong>After getting out of a long relationship with Joe, Taylor seemingly knew who she wanted to call: Matty. </p> <p>"I did my time," she sings. "Now pretty baby I'm running back home to you."</p> <p>She's previously referred to her lover as her "jailer" during <em>reputation</em>'s "Ready For It."</p>

<p><strong>"Florida!!!" (featuring Florence and the Machine): </strong>What to do when you need an escape? Head to Florida. At least, that's what Taylor and <strong>Florence Welch</strong> advise in this track. </p> <p>"You can beat the heat if you beat the charges too / They said I was a cheat, I guess it must be true," Taylor sings, referencing speculation about her personal life. "And my friends, all smell like weed or little babies / And the city reeks of driving myself crazy."</p> <p>"I need to forget, so take me to Florida," the lyrics later continue. "I've got some regrets, I'll bury them in Florida."</p> <p>Taylor explained that the song was actually inspired by true crime sagas about escaping town.</p> <p>“I’m always watching like <em>Dateline</em>—people, you know, have these crimes that they commit," she told <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:iHeartRadio;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">iHeartRadio</a>. "Where do they immediately skip town and go to? They go to Florida, you know? They like try to reinvent themselves, have a new identity, blend in. And I think when you go through a heartbreak, there’s a part of you that thinks, 'I want a new name, I want a new life, I don’t want anyone to know where I’ve been or know me at all.'” </p> <p>One last secret about "Florida!!!"? Taylor's pal <strong>Emma Stone</strong> <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:helped write the song;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">helped write the song</a>.</p> <p><strong>"Guilty as Sin?": </strong>In another apparent nod to Matty, Taylor starts "Guilty as Sin?" with the lyrics, "Drowning in the Blue Nile / He sent me downtown lights." Well, it just so happens that, back in 2022, Matty <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:named;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">named</a> <strong>The Blue Nile</strong>'s <em>Hats</em> as one of his favorite albums of the 1980s.</p>

<p><strong>"Who's Afraid of Little Old Me?"</strong>: Taylor tackles her critics in this passionate track."Is it a wonder I broke? Let’s hear one morе joke," she sings. "Then we could all just laugh until I cry."</p> <p><strong>"I Can Fix Him (No Really I Can)"</strong>: As Taylor notes in this song, she believed she could help change someone, despite any naysayers.</p> <p>"The smoke cloud billows out his mouth like a freight train through a small town," she sings. "The jokes that he told across the bar were revolting and far too loud."</p> <p>"Thеy shake their heads saying, 'God, help her' when I tell 'em he's my man," the lyrics continue. "But your good lord doesn't need to lift a finger / I can fix him, no, really, I can / And only I can." </p>

<p><strong>"Loml": </strong>In this moving track, Taylor first sings about being called the love of someone's life "about a million times." However, the dynamic soon changed. </p> <p>"If you know it in one glimpse, it's legendary," she notes. "What we thought was for all time was momentary."</p> <p>She ends the song by letting the person know, "You're the loss of my life."</p> <p>While it could be about her long relationship with Joe, lyrics about "rekindled flames" and "we were just kids, babe" hint it's about her spark with Matty after all these years: "I've felt a glow like this never before and never since."</p> <p><strong>"I Can Do It With a Broken Heart": </strong>The song appears to be about Taylor slaying her Eras Tour despite the heartbreak, noting that she's "hittin' my marks" on stage in front of a chanting crowd. She hides her emotions by putting on a strong face: "Lights, camera, bitch smile."</p> <p><span>Though this song is upbeat, it's filled with lyrics of unrequited love. </span></p> <p>"I'm so obsessed with him, but he avoids me like the plague / I cry a lot, but I am so productive, it's an art," she sings. "You know you're good when you can even do it with a broken heart."</p> <p><strong>"The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived": </strong>Taylor has a few questions for "the smallest man who ever lived," who seemingly left their relationship out of nowhere.</p> <p>"You kicked out the stage lights, but you're still performing," she sings. "And in plain sight you hid / But you are what you did."</p>

<p><strong>"The Alchemy":</strong> After ditching "the clowns," Taylor found the guy on the Chiefs. In "The Alchemy," an <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:apparent nod to her NFL player boyfriend;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">apparent nod to her NFL player boyfriend</a> <strong>Travis Kelce</strong>, Taylor makes several sports references.</p> <p>"I haven't come around in so long / But I'm coming back strong," Taylor sings. "So when I touch down, call the amateurs and cut 'em from the team."</p> <p>She later references her past "blokes," who "warm the benches," noting "we been on a winning streak."</p>

<p><strong>"Clara Bow": </strong>The lyrics to the final song on the album address the connection between Taylor and the late actress <strong>Clara Bow</strong>, whose life, similar to Taylor's, was subjected to much speculation and scrutiny.</p> <p>"It's hell on earth to be heavenly," Taylor sings. "Them's the brakes, they don't come gently."</p> <p>The lyrics also put a spotlight on the comparisons of women in the public eye, with the mention of Clara, <strong>Stevie Nicks</strong> and Taylor herself.</p> <p>And, as if being told to the next star in line, "You look like Taylor Swift / In this light, we're loving it," the lyrics state. "You've got edge, she never did / The future's bright, dazzling."</p>

<p><strong>"The Black Dog": </strong>The artist mourns the lack of closeness she now has with her ex after they used to be confidantes, singing, "I am someone who, until recent events / You shared your secrets with / And your location / You forgot to turn it off / And so I watch as you walkInto some bar called The Black Dog / And pierce new holes in my heart."</p> <p>Fans believe she's expressing her grief following her breakup with Joe, <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:matching up an outfit;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">matching up an outfit</a> Taylor wore in a behind-the-scenes video of her recording the track to an outfit she wore out in New York on May 18, 2023—suggesting she made the song before her breakup with Matty was revealed in June 2023.</p>

<p><strong>"thanK you aIMee":</strong> After <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:surprising fans at 2 a.m. with a double album;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">surprising fans at 2 a.m. with a double album</a>, featuring 15 additional <em>Tortured Poet</em> songs, Swifties were <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:quick to spot;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">quick to spot</a> <strong>Kim Kardashian</strong>'s name in the title of "thanK you aIMee."</p> <p>"And it wasn't a fair fight, or a clean kill / Each time that Aimee stomped across my gravе," Taylor sings, seemingly referencing <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:the infamous phone call between her and Kanye West;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">the infamous phone call between her and <strong>Kanye West</strong></a> that Kim posted online in 2016. "And then she wrote hеadlinesIn the local paper, laughing at each baby step I'd take."</p> <p>But, as the lyrics note, Taylor is stronger now: "All that time you were throwin' punches, I was buildin' somethin' / And I couldn't wait to show you it was real / Screamed "F--k you, Aimee" to the night sky, as the blood was gushin' / But I can't forget the way you made me heal."</p>

<p><strong>"So High School": </strong>Taylor seems to compare her love story with Travis to a sweet high school romance.</p> <p>"Are you gonna marry, kiss or kill me?" she sings. "It's just a game, but really I'm bettin' on all three for us two."</p> <p>Travis was once asked in a <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:viral throwback video;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">viral throwback video</a> to play "kiss, marry, kill" with Taylor, <strong>Katy Perry</strong> and <strong>Ariana Grande</strong>. (He said he'd kiss Taylor and marry Katy.)</p> <p>In "So High School," Taylor also alludes to Travis opening doors for her and perhaps the night she rode in a convertible with him after one of his football games, noting, "Get my car door, isn't that sweet? Then pull me to thе backseat." </p> <p>Not to mention this mic-drop: "You know how to ball, I know Aristotle."</p> <p><strong>"Cassandra": </strong>This track is inspired by the ancient Greek clairvoyant Cassandra. According to the <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:Brooklyn Museum;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">Brooklyn Museum</a>, "The god Apollo, enamored of her, granted her the power of prophecy but, when she rejected him, sabotaged that power with a curse that no one would believe her predictions."</p> <p>Taylor seems to be singing about how she warned the public about one of her enemies—and she feels everyone now knows the person's true colors. </p> <p>"So, they killed Cassandra first 'cause she feared the worst," she sings. "And tried to tell the town / So they filled my cell with snakes, I regret to say / Do you believe me now?"</p>

<p><strong>"I Look in People's Windows": </strong>The song paints a heartbreaking picture of missing a former lover. In the chorus, she sings, "I look in people's windows / In case you're at their table / What if your eyes looked up and met mine / One more time."</p> <p>It brings to mind her 2019 ballad "Death by a Thousand Cuts," in which she laments, "I look through the windows of this love / Even though we boarded them up / Chandelier's still flickering here / 'Cause I can't pretend it's ok when it's not."</p> <p><strong>"The Prophecy": </strong>Taylor begs the powers that be to grant her a new lover after a breakup, likely following her split with Joe. </p> <p>"I've been on my knees / Change the prophecy," read the lyrics. "Don't want money / Just someone who wants my company / Let it once be me."</p> <p>Fans believe the song could not be about Matty because she included an Easter Egg for "The Prophecy" in the "Karma" music video, which dropped on May 26, 2023—before her breakup with The 1975 musician. The video shows Taylor dressed as a golden statue, nodding to these "Prophecy" lyrics: "But even statues crumble if they're made to wait." (Taylor even confirmed the Easter Egg by liking a fan tweet about the connection.)</p>

<p><strong>"Peter": </strong>She sings about a man who told her was gonna "grow up" and then "come find" her to start their lives. However, one clue about Peter's age tipped fans off that Peter is probably a pseudonym for Matty.</p> <p>"And you said you'd come and get me, but you were 25," Taylor sings. "And the shelf life of those fantasies has expired."</p> <p>Indeed, Matty was about 25 years old in 2014, when the pair grew close and he famously supported Taylor by wearing a <em>1989</em> T-shirt.</p> <p>The Peter in this song is also likely the same Peter in 2020's "Cardigan" ("Peter losing Wendy") as a reference to <em>Peter Pan</em>.</p> <p>"Lost to the 'Lost Boys' chapter of your life," read the lyrics of her new 2024 track. "Forgive me, Peter, please know that I tried."</p> <p>Still not convinced Matty is THE Peter? When he and Taylor were dating in May 2023, she <a href="" rel="nofollow noopener" target="_blank" data-ylk="slk:mouthed;elm:context_link;itc:0;sec:content-canvas" class="link ">mouthed</a> the words "This one is about you. You know who you are. I love you" on stage at the Eras Tour while performing "Cardigan."</p>

<p><strong>"The Manuscript":</strong> The lyrics may reference her romance with <strong>Jake Gyllenhaal</strong> or <strong>John Mayer</strong> since she sings about an age gap (they are 9 and 12 years older than she is, respectively).</p> <p>“In the age of him, she wished she was 30 / And made coffee every morning in a Frеnch press," Taylor sings, later adding, "She thought about how he said since she was so wise beyond her years / Everything had been above board / She wasn't sure."</p> <p>One major theory is that she wrote "The Manuscript" while revisting "All Too Well"—believed to be about Jake—to record the 10-minute version for 2021's <em>Red (Taylor's Version)</em>. She turned the ballad into a short film, which she seems to allude to in "The Manuscript": "Then the actors / Were hitting their marks / And the slow dance / Was alight with the sparks / And the tears fell / In synchronicity with the score."</p> <p>The lyrics also call to one of Taylor's frequent comments about "All Too Well," in that she feels the song has now become more about the fans than the romance she had: "Now and then I reread the manuscript / But the story isn't mine anymore."</p>

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