If you did not know who either Joe Alwyn or Tess Ward were a few weeks ago, there's a good chance you do now. While both had some public notoriety before, neither was exactly tabloid fodder-level famous until, of course, those tabloids put their alleged budding relationships with Taylor Swift and Harry Styles, respectively, on blast.
While we couldn't be happier for the news of their newfound young love (that is, of course, if the tabloids are correct), may we all have sympathy for them as they navigate the sudden intense glare that comes with being linked to both Swift or Styles.
Rumors of Styles and Ward's relationship broke last week when a British tabloid published blurry paparazzi photos supposedly of the pair riding together in a car. The gossip buzzed only heightened when Ward was photographed wearing a men's Gucci shirt that Styles wore just a few days before (never mind the fact that Styles has worn most of Gucci's men's collection--Alessandro Michele seems to keep Styles well clad). Ward, by the way, is a British ex-model turned natural foods chef, certified health coach and cookbook author. The story goes that the pair had been quietly dating for a while and Styles has already introduced her to a few friends.
Rumors surrounding the Alwyn-Swift relationship is newer, though once again the scoop is the work of the British 'bloids. Alwyn is an up-and-coming British actor who starred in Ang Lee's divisive film Billy Lynn's Long Halftime Walk, and while that was a box office bomb he's tipped for bigger things (he's got a film with Emma Stone in the works, after all). Once again the story goes that they've been dating for a while and tried to keep things secret. E! reports that Swift was flying back and forth between Nashville and England for a while now, and is sort of relieved that the news is finally out in public now that the pair has gotten to know each other away from the prying eyes of the public
Of course, while anyone dating either Swift or Styles would pique the public's interest, the timing of the news right now likely only intensified interest.
As everyone and their mother now knows, Swift and Styles briefly dated a few years ago. The relationship lasted just a few months, but the story had been dragged out for years. Taylor Swift seems to have written more than a few songs about it and neither seems to be able to escape public questioning about it.
With the release of Styles' first solo album last week, the short relationship is once again back on the public's mind thanks to rumors that at least one song on the album might have been his take on the fling.
While Alwyn and Ward may very much like to be excluded from this narrative, one that they had never necessarily asked to be part of, you just can't stop the wandering wonder of gossip hounds and crazed fans.
Ward, for one, is already fed up with it.
In an interview with The Times, she neither confirms nor denies the relationship rumors, but is more than glad to talk about the social media backlash she's received because of said rumors.
"Snapchat I've deleted, Twitter—don't really do it. I'm even a little bit out of love with Instagram," she told the paper. "At the moment I'm getting a lot of direct messages there, but I respectfully choose not to reply to them, because they're all like, er, interesting. I want a break. I just want a break."
"It's been so weird, the hate messages…very bizarre. I'm not the kind of person who's interested in fame, and if you're put in an environment which you don't understand and you can't control and you don't want, it's horrible."
She then adds that all she really wants to do is cook.
She's also recently made reference to the interest on her Instagram, writing to her new found followers, "I am thankful but please be kind with your words. All I want is to share beautiful food with you all."
Who she wants to share beautiful food with in real life is still very much something she'd rather not address publicly at the moment.
For his part, Joe Alwyn doesn't have much in the way of an official social media presence, so there's no need to directly worry about trolls and obsessive fans. Though, he's certainly in uncharted territory. All of Swift's other public boyfriends over the past ten years were already higher profile celebrities, well, except for the one who was an actual Kennedy. May he whether the intense storm that comes with even being so much as linked with Swift.
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