Joe Alwyn Says Writing 'Folklore' Songs with Girlfriend Taylor Swift Was the 'Most Accidental Thing'

Joe Alwyn won a Grammy last year for co-writing two songs on the album folklore

For Joe Alwyn, winning a Grammy Award wasn't a long-standing dream — it was something that happened pretty much by accident.

Alwyn, who will soon star in the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney's best-seller Conversations with Friends, took home a Grammy last year for his contributions to girlfriend Taylor Swift's folklore, which won album of the year.

The British actor, 31, is credited as a songwriter on "exile" and "betty" under the pseudonym William Bowery, and also has three credits on Swift's follow-up album evermore, including the title track.

"It was really the most accidental thing to happen in lockdown. It wasn't like, 'It's three o'clock, it's time to write a song!'" Alwyn told GQ Hype. "It was just messing around on a piano and singing badly and being overheard and then thinking, you know, what if we tried to get to the end of it together?"

Alwyn said that he and Swift, who have been dating since 2016, decided to credit the star under a pseudonym in order to allow fans to focus on the music, and not that the famously private couple had created it together.

Joe Alwyn; Taylor Swift
Joe Alwyn and Taylor Swift. Carlos Alvarez/Getty Images; ANGELA WEISS/AFP via Getty Images

"The idea was that people would just listen to the music rather than focus on the fact that we wrote it together," he said. "It was fun to do together, and I was proud of it. It was nice getting such a positive reception."

He added that sending the song "exile" to Bon Iver's Justin Vernon and receiving voice notes back with Vernon singing along was "surreal" and "a perk of lockdown."

Swift, 32, previously offered fans insight into her folklore writing process in the Disney+ documentary Folklore: The Long Pond Studio Sessions, explaining that she overhead Alwyn singing an original tune.

"I heard Joe singing the entire fully formed chorus of 'Betty' from another room, and I just was like, 'Hello,'" Swift said. "I came in and I was like, 'Hey, this could be really weird and we could hate this, [but] because we're in quarantine and there's nothing else going on, could we just try to see what it's like if we write this song together?'"

Alwyn told GQ that he has no plans to write music again, and is focusing on acting, noting that he hopes "people really like" Conversations with Friends, which premieres on Hulu May 15.

Taylor Swift
Taylor Swift and Joe Alwyn in 2019. GOR/GC Images

Of his steamy scenes with costars, the actor told Extra that Swift has been nothing but supportive.

"I mean, she's read the book and she loves the book so she knows it," he said. "She just like, couldn't be a bigger fan of the project."

The Favourite actor told WSJ. Magazine last month that he and the "All Too Well" singer will continue to keep their relationship under wraps, engagement rumors be damned.

"If I had a pound for every time I think I've been told I've been engaged, then I'd have a lot of pound coins," he said. "I mean, the truth is, if the answer was yes, I wouldn't say, and if the answer was no, I wouldn't say."

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