Tom Hiddleston Has a Lot to Say About That ‘I ♥ T.S.’ Tank Top

Tom Hiddleston swears his romance with Taylor Swift was real … and it doesn’t sound like he’s quite over it.

The Night Manager star, 35, sat down with GQ, and no topic — including that “I ♥ T.S.” tank top — appeared to be off-limits. The interviewer, Taffy Brodesser-Akner, kicked off the Taylor conversation by bluntly asking whether their three-month relationship was real.

“Taylor is an amazing woman,” Hiddleston says, giving a sort of prepared statement. “She’s generous and kind and lovely, and we had the best time.”

After pausing, he finally answers the actual question asked, saying, “Of course it was real.”

Swift, 27, and Hiddleston’s relationship was revealed after pictures of them making out on a rock in Rhode Island surfaced, just a few weeks after the singer split with Calvin Harris. What followed was a jet-setting, meet-the-parents whirlwind courtship that had many speculating Hiddleswift was just a publicity stunt. When the Avengers star was photographed at Taylor’s famed Fourth of July bash wearing a “I ♥ T.S.” shirt, that didn’t help the “showmance” rumors.

Related: Taylor Swift and Tom Hiddleston’s Whirlwind Romance (Photos)

“I ask if he wants to say anything about Australia, about the Fourth of July party at which he donned that fateful tank top, about the rumors that she thought he was too eager. Does he want to say anything about any of it?” Akner writes.

Hiddleston responds by going straight to the tank top fiasco.

Tom Hiddleston made a splash with his tank top on the Fourth of July. (Photo: Splash News)
Tom Hiddleston made a splash with his tank top on the Fourth of July. (Photo: Splash News)

“The truth is, it was the Fourth of July and a public holiday and we were playing a game and I slipped and hurt my back. And I wanted to protect the graze from the sun and said, ’Does anyone have a T-shirt?’ And one of her friends said, ’I’ve got this,’” he says of the shirt. “And we all laughed about it. It was a joke.”

Clearly, the tank top thing irks him.

“It was a joke,” he repeats. “Among friends.”

Related: See Tom Hiddleston’s First Instagram Post

Hiddleston continues, “I have to be so psychologically strong about not letting other people’s interpretations about my life affect my life. A relationship exists between two people. We will always know what it was. The narratives that are out there altogether have been extrapolated from pictures that were taken without consent or permission, with no context. Nobody had the context for that story. And I’m still trying to work out a way of having a personal life and protecting it, but also without hiding. So the hardest thing is that that was a joke among friends on the Fourth of July.”

Clearly the tank top thing really irks him.

“I put my hand on his and I say, ‘Tom, Tom, it’s OK. You don’t have to talk about the tank top anymore. I got it. I understand. I’ll tell the world.’ But he can’t stop talking about it. He literally cannot stop talking about it,” Akner writes.

Related: Tom Hiddleston Says He’s Still Friends With Taylor Swift

“I don’t know,” he says. “I just, I was surprised. I was just surprised that it got so much attention. The tank top became an emblem of this thing.”

After the tank top detour, Hiddleston goes on to explain that he was very much in love with Taylor.

“I only know the woman I met. She’s incredible,” he gushes, while acknowledging that the paparazzi attention was a lot to deal with. “A relationship in the limelight … a relationship always takes work. A relationship in the limelight takes work. And it’s not just the limelight. It’s everything else.”

Hiddleston states that when he and Swift connected, they both just wanted a regular relationship. “So we decided to go out for dinner, we decided to travel,” he explains.

Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift at LAX. (Photo: Splash News)
Tom Hiddleston and Taylor Swift at LAX. (Photo: Splash News)

Tom and Taylor split in August, and the actor admits he had a tough time dealing with the breakup in Australia, where he was filming Thor: Ragnarok.

“Everywhere he went, whether it was checking e-mail on a park bench or looking at a menu, if he furrowed his brow it meant he was miserable and that would incite a new tabloid story about how hard he was taking all of this,” Akner details. “It was a tough time, a public tough time. Chris Hemsworth gave him some good guidance; Hugh Laurie checked in. His family worried.”

The roller coaster of Hiddleswift hasn’t deterred the Kong: Skull Island star from continuing to look for love, public or not, as he has no regrets.

“I’m not going to live my life in hiding,” he says. “You have to fight for love. You can’t live in fear of what people might say. You know, you have to be true to yourself.”

Akner, who even seems to have had enough Taylor Swift talk herself at this point, comes to a realization. She notes they “talk some more because I finally understand that he isn’t here as someone who needs to explain his side in a PR battle; he’s here as someone who is still crushed by the end of a relationship.”

Head over to GQ to read the full interview.

More from Yahoo Celebrity: