Taylor Swift is many things: a pop sensation, producer, actor, songwriter, football fan, and more. Do you know what she’s not? T-Swift is not the mysterious author behind the Argylle novel that inspired Matthew Vaughn’s upcoming spy thriller for Apple. Rumors about Tay-Tay being the author “Elly Conway,” a pseudonym for the writer whose manuscript paved the way for the reported 200 million dollar deal for the film rights, have been swirling on social media for months.
Argylle stars Bryce Dallas Howard as Elly Conway, a reclusive author of a series of best-selling espionage novels whose idea of bliss is a night at home with her computer and her cat, Alfie. But when the plots of Elly’s fictional books — which center on secret agent Argylle (Henry Cavill) and his mission to unravel a global spy syndicate — begin to mirror the covert actions of a real-life spy organization, quiet evenings at home become a thing of the past. Sam Rockwell also stars as Aiden, a cat-allergic spy who races across the world to stay one step ahead of the killers as the line between Elly’s fictional world and her real one blurs.
Swifties love a good conspiracy theory, and the push pin and string logic for the Argylle rumor is a doozy. A portion of T-Swizzle’s fans became convinced that the biggest pop star in the world was the real “Elly Conway,” because of her habit of wearing argyle sweaters and because the film includes a Scottish Fold cat. Swift owns two Scottish Folds, named Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson. Finally, Howard’s Elly dons red hair in the film, which some have pointed out is similar to Swift’s in the “All Too Well” short film. I told you the rumor was a doozy.
“I’m not a big internet guy, and it was actually my daughter who came up to me — this is the power of celebrity and the internet — and said, ‘You never told me Taylor wrote the book!’” Vaughn told Rolling Stone. “And I’m looking at her going, ‘What are you talking about Taylor Swift wrote the book? She didn’t write the book!’ And I was laughing because I was like, ‘It’s not true! She didn’t write the book!’ But my daughter was convinced of it,” Vaughn explained.
“There is a real book… and it’s a really good book,” he continued. “And there is an Elly Conway who wrote the book, but it’s not Taylor Swift. And I say that because I imagine Taylor Swift has a load of people trying to jump on her bandwagon left, right, and center, and I don’t want to be a part of that club. I did read the conspiracies and I was like, wow, they don’t leave a stone unturned! But it’s not Taylor Swift. She definitely didn’t write the book.”
Funnily enough, Swift is a source of inspiration for Argylle, at least in part. According to Vaughn, Swift is why he and his wife, Claudia Schiffer, own a Scottish Fold (the same one featured in the film). After seeing the breed in Swift’s Netflix documentary Miss Americana, Vaughn says their daughters convinced them to get a Scottish Fold.
“I got home one day, it was Christmas, and I was like, ‘What the fuck is that noise?’ And I’m running around the house and I hear a noise, and the kids had seen a Taylor Swift documentary and there was a Scottish Fold in that, and they’d persuaded my wife, Claudia [Schiffer], to get them the kitten for Christmas,” Vaughn said. “It was bought without my permission and hidden from me.”
There you have it, folks! Taylor Swift is not the author behind the book that inspired Matthew Vaughn’s Argylle. The internet rumor mill is a strange and unruly place, my friends. Be careful which rabbit holes you tumble through.