Taylor Lautner feels 'safe' but is 'praying for John' ahead of Taylor Swift's Speak Now rerelease
Dear John: Taylor Lautner is praying for you as Taylor Swift gears up to release her rerecorded album Speak Now (Taylor's Version).
The Twilight star joked on Tuesday that he was "praying for John" — a presumed nod to Swift's ex John Mayer — ahead of the release of Swift's rerecorded album Speak Now (Taylor's Version), which arrives July 7. Many believe that Lautner and Mayer, who both dated Swift, had songs written about them on the original album: The break-up anthem "Back to December" is reportedly about Lautner, while Mayer is portrayed in a less-than-favorable light on "Dear John."
Lautner, who briefly dated Swift in 2009, was on the Today show with his wife to plug the duo's podcast, The Squeeze, when he was asked about the impending release of her third rerecorded LP.
"I think it's a great album. Yeah, I feel safe," Lautner said. "Praying for John."
He seemed to be referring to Mayer, who inspired the nearly seven-minute Speak Now track "Dear John." The slow, sad song includes damning lyrics such as: "I see it all now that you're gone / Don't you think I was too young to be messed with? / The girl in the dress wrote you a song / You should've known, you should've known."
By comparison, "Back to December" is a much sweeter track wherein Swift takes responsibility for her relationship ending and sings about wishing she could try again: "But this is me swallowin' my pride / Standin' in front of you sayin' I'm sorry for that night / And I go back to December all the time."
Now, Lautner is clarifying his remarks about Mayer and the album. "I don't know if it was the wisest thing to say," he said in hindsight Wednesday on The Happy Hour on SiriusXM's Today Show Radio. "I was definitely joking." On the same day, he shared a TikTok in which he kneeled down to pray as "Dear John" played in the background.
The actor added that his wife, a "die-hard" Swift fan also named Taylor, knew from the moment he cracked the joke that it would go viral. "She's like, 'That's gonna really trigger the Swifties,'" Lautner said. "Or, I mean, they're supportive of it because, I mean, I don't know. I personally think John is a very talented musician, but I am aware of a couple songs that were on that album."
While Lautner is probably in the clear, his humorous concerns for Mayer aren't entirely without merit. When Swift rerecorded her album Red, she famously included a new 10-minute version of the breakup epic "All Too Well," widely believed to be about her relationship with Jake Gyllenhaal. When Swift revealed that the extended song would be included on the new album, fans took to social media to joke that Gyllenhaal should be afraid of what was on the rerelease.
Swift hasn't revealed what new tracks will appear on Speak Now (Taylor's Version), but the album's product pages on her website indicate that it will have six new additions.
Sign up for Entertainment Weekly's free daily newsletter to get breaking TV news, exclusive first looks, recaps, reviews, interviews with your favorite...stars, and more.