Taylor Swift is not the mysterious author behind the “Argylle” book that served as the inspiration for Apple’s upcoming spy thriller from director Matthew Vaughn. Conspiracy theories have circulated on social media for months alleging Swift is the author “Elly Conway,” a pseudonym for the writer whose manuscript was apparently so astonishing that it led to a reported $200 million deal for the film rights. Screenwriter Jason Fuchs adapted Conway’s book into Vaughn’s movie.
Elly Conway is also the main character played by Bryce Dallas Howard in Vaughn’s film, which centers on an introverted spy author who gets roped into a real life game of espionage after her books start hitting too close to a home for global crime syndicate. The identity of the real “Elly Conway” has been a mystery since “Argylle” was first announced in August 2021. The book was only recently published on Jan. 9.
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Taylor Swift fans became convinced that the music icon was the real “Elly Conway” due to her history of wearing argyle sweaters and because the film prominently features a Scottish Fold cat. Swift famously owns two Scottish Folds named Meredith Grey and Olivia Benson. Howard also has red hair similar to that of Swift in the “All Too Well” short film. Swift fans tried to bend many clues into proof that Swift was “Elly Conway,” but Vaughn is shutting down all the rumors in a new interview with Rolling Stone.
“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 said. “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.”
“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. 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.”
But Swift did still serve as a source of inspiration for “Argylle,” with Vaughn admitting the singer is the reason a Scottish Fold appears in the film. And not just any Scottish Fold. The cat in “Argylle” is the real cat owned by Vaughn and his wife, supermodel Claudia Schiffer, who were convinced by their daughters to adopt it after they saw Swift’s Scottish Fold in the singer’s Netflix documentary “Miss Americana.”
“Ironically, what she is responsible for is the Scottish Fold,” Vaughn explained to Rolling Stone. “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. It was bought without my permission and hidden from me.”
Joining Howard in the film is an ensemble cast that includes Sam Rockwell, Henry Cavill, Ariana DeBose, John Cena, Bryan Cranston, Samuel L. Jackson, Dua Lipa, and Catherine O’Hara. “Argylle” opens in theaters Feb. 2 from Apple and Universal Pictures.
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