Taylor Swift’s boyfriend has been hard at work proving he’s a very fine actor, but people just can’t stop asking him about his relationship with the now-elusive pop star. Joe Alwyn is perhaps the least likely candidate to wear a tank reading “I HEART T.S.,” and the least likely to extend his lap for her to sit on, at least while there are cameras in close proximity. They’ve yet to appear on a red carpet together, despite the four films he’s had out this year (The Favourite, Mary Queen of Scots, Boy Erased, and Operation Finale) and the album she released in 2017, for which she was just nominated for a Grammy. They’ve opted for subtler modes of supporting each other—she, attending his film premieres (but forgoing the red carpet); and he, appearing in the crowd at her stadium shows. And yet, all anyone wants to talk about is Taylor, and Joe is not having it. He refuses to even name his favorite Taylor Swift song, a sharp contrast with a certain other man most famous for dating a pop star.

But once in a while, Alwyn does say some words about Swift—or, at least, obliquely refer to her (rarely, if ever, by name). Take, for example, his latest interview, this one for the winter issue of Esquire, in which Alwyn was asked if he had sought any “guidance” on dating Swift. “I didn’t seek out advice on that. Because I know what I feel about it. I think there’s a very clear line as to what somebody should share, or feel like they have to share, and what they don’t want to and shouldn’t have to.” “Somebody,” “it,” “that”—but no “Taylor.” Instead of this, or, even worse, instead of hiding in luggage or under hoodies, a simple “no comment” would suffice, Joe!

Of course, this interview is not the first time Alwyn has said some non-words about his girlfriend, especially as he’s had to do press for his various films.

He told British GQ that “someone’s private life is by definition private,” and that “no one is obliged to share their personal life.” (He also said it hadn’t remotely occurred to him that he and Swift posted matching photos posing with a cactus in Joshua Tree.)

In a story published in September, he told British Vogue that he’s “aware people want to know about that side of things” (“that side”???), but that he and Swift “have been very successfully very private and that has now sunk in for people,” and he “really prefer[s] to talk about work.” (This was, per the Huffington Post, the first thing Alwyn ever said publicly about Swift, even though they had been dating for more than a year at the time of the interview.)

And…that’s kind of it. There you have it.