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As we all know, die-hard Swifties will read double and triple meanings into ev-er-y-thing Taylor Swift does or says or breathes near. It's mostly harmless fun, but one recent rumor has been so buzzy that it required an actual investigation. And, weirdly enough, it turned out to be a little bit real.
So, in case you're not terminally online, lemme explain: There's a new spy movie coming out featuring Dua Lipa and Henry Cavill called Argylle, and in the movie, there's an author of spy novels named Elly Conway, played by Bryce Dallas Howard. In real life, the movie is based on a novel, written by a woman named Elly Conway, whom no one seems to have ever seen or met. And since the movie was made before the novel hit shelves (it's not that weird—the rights to buzzy manuscripts are often sold to studios before they get published), a rumor started that Elly Conway was, in fact, not a real person, and perhaps the pen name of someone who, for whatever reason, didn't want their name attached to the book. Like, maybe…Taylor Swift?
In the trailer for the movie, a cat that looks an awful lot like Swift's beloved feline Meredith is seen in a backpack carrier that is an awful lot like the one Swift uses in Miss Americana. (The above photo is actually Swift's other cat, Olivia.) And thus a rumor was born. Since, to date, no one has come forward to be like, “Hello, I wrote this novel,” the question persisted, and Rolling Stone decided to investigate by asking Matthew Vaughn, director of the upcoming feature.
“There is a real book…and it’s a really good book,” he told the magazine. “And there is an Elly Conway who wrote the book, but it’s not Taylor Swift.” And actually, he has a very respectful reason for not feeding the gossip, even if it would create more excitement for his project. “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,” he added before giving credit to the eagle-eyed, if not necessarily truth-minded, Swifties: “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.”
In fact, it was his daughter who first alerted him to the Swift of it all. “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!’” said Vaughn. “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.” So, thanks, internet, for gaslighting Matthew Vaughn's daughter!
And this is where we have to acknowledge that the rumors weren't entirely off-base: There's a reason the Scottish Fold cat in the movie looks just like Taylor's. “Ironically, what she is responsible for is the Scottish Fold,” said Vaughn. “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 [Miss Americana] and there was a Scottish Fold in that, and they’d persuaded my wife, Claudia [Schiffer], to get them the kitten for Christmas. It was bought without my permission and hidden from me.”
The cat, named Chip, is, Vaughn insists, the only Swift connection to be found. And yes, he is the one you see in the movie. “That first day of filming with the cat we had—this actor cat—wasn’t really working out, and I literally went to my daughter’s bedroom, because the cat sleeps with her, and I said, ‘Look, I’m gonna borrow the cat.’ And she went, ‘Fine.’ I don’t think she realized it meant for three months. It was odd because he rode to work with me every morning, shared my trailer. But he was great. And he seemed to enjoy it as well. He was a natural. The nepo cat.”
Need Chip to meet Meredith ASAP.
Originally Appeared on Glamour