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A New Love Story? 4 Things to Know About Taylor Swift’s New Flame Joe Alwyn

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Taylor Swift no longer has a blank space in the love department.

The singer has been under wraps recently, making a “conscious choice to disappear” to focus on herself and her new music, a source recently revealed to PEOPLE. But she’s also had a new man by her side over the last couple months: up-and-coming British actor Joe Alwyn.

Here are four things to know about the 26-year-old rising star:

1. Just like Swift, he’s family-oriented. 

Alwyn reportedly resides with his mother, a psychotherapist, and his father, a documentary filmmaker, in his hometown of Crouch End in North England.

“I’ve always grown up with [my father] showing me films and I’ve always loved going to the cinema,” he told PEOPLE last year. “And my mum had taken me to the theater a lot, so I always wanted to be a part of that world in some way but didn’t quite know how or how to go about it.”

Bryan Steffy/Getty; Mike Marsland/WireImage

2. He was focused on his education before landing his first role.

Just as he’s been able to keep his relationship with Swift under wraps, Alwyn remained mum about his love for acting until he landed his dream role in the United States — a country he had previously never traveled to.

“I was really interested in acting and thought secretly I could do it, but didn’t tell anyone. It was a quite private thing that I wanted to do,” he told PEOPLE last year. “And I went through high school and I studied it as a subject, but I didn’t do much extra theater.”

Alwyn studied at the National Youth Theatre in London until moving on to study drama at the University of Bristol.

“Then I went to university and I read English and Drama there and I did as much stuff beyond the course as I could,” he adds. “At the end of the three years, I applied to drama school and I got into one in London and I was there for three years until last year. I left early last year when I got [my first role].”

3. His latest role is opposite one of Swift’s oldest friends — Emma Stone. 

Alwyn can next be seen on the big screen in The Favourite, starring Oscar winner and Swift’s longtime pal, Emma Stone. Prior to Alwyn’s audition for his breakthrough role in Billy Lynn’s Long Halftime Walk, which was released last November, the 26-year-old had never even stepped in front of a camera.

“It was overwhelming jumping into a whole world that I had no experience in being in,” he told PEOPLE Now in October ahead of the film’s release. “I had done plays in drama school before, but I never stepped in front of a camera before and I had never been to America before, and I knew all of these people well, obviously.”

The war film, directed by Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, placed him alongside Hollywood A-listers Kristen Stewart, Vin Diesel and Steve Martin.

And there’s more where that came from. After many began to praise him for being “the next big thing” in Hollywood, he landed a role in the critically acclaimed film, The Sense of an Ending, appearing opposite Jim Broadbent and Charlotte Rampling.

“I really don’t think about it. That’s a very, very hard and strange thing to have people tell you,” he told PEOPLE about his newfound recognition.

4. He’s team vampire.

“He’s a huge Twilight fan,” Kristen Stewart said during a joint PEOPLE Now interview. “I’ve seen one of them twice,” admitted Alwyn.

“I think the best form of sort of quote unquote advice has always been seeing similarities in people I admire,” the actress said about working with Alwyn. “I find serious validation in — this is going to sound so actor-y — in why people do what they do, and usually if you get like minds in a given environment and you work on the same message, you do something really cohesive. And that doesn’t take experience, it just takes someone who is human and willing and invested.”

  • Reporting by MARLENE LENTHANG