Joe Alwyn may be a newbie to the entertainment industry, only landing his first acting credit in 2016, but he’s already managed to work alongside a host of A-list stars, including Olivia Colman, Emma Stone and Russell Crowe.
The British actor is now well on his way to becoming a household name himself. Below is an in-depth look at Joe Alwyn, including his early life, on-screen career, and personal life.
Joseph Matthew Alwyn was born on February 21, 1991 in Royal Tunbridge Wells, UK to Richard and Elizabeth Alwyn. He has two brothers, Patrick and Thomas, and is the great-grandson of English composer William Alwyn. He grew up in North London and attended City of London School, briefly playing guitar for the school band and a member of the football and rugby teams. Despite being a self-proclaimed introvert, he always wanted to be an actor and joined the National Youth Theater in his late teens.
In 2012 he graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in English Literature and Drama from Bristol University and starred in two student films at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. After graduating, he applied to four acting schools and was rejected by all except the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London, where he went on to earn a BA in Acting. In his third year, he signed with an agent who helped land him the lead role in Ang Lee’s 2016 film. Billy Lynn’s long halftime walk, which was Alwyn’s feature debut.
Although the 31-year-old’s acting credits only date back to 2016, he’s certainly had an impressive trajectory. Following his debut in Ang Lee’s war drama, which critics described as his “escape”, Alwyn’s subsequent role was as a supporting character in the 2017 mystery drama film. The meaning of an end.
In 2018, he appeared in four films, including alongside Olivia Colman, Rachel Weisz, Emma Stone and Nicholas Hoult in a period black comedy. The favourite, which garnered 10 Oscar nominations. Additionally, he has appeared in historical dramas Final of the operation and Mary Queen of Scots, and received a minor role in an LGBTQ+ biographical drama erased boywhich also starred Nicole Kidman, Joel Edgerton and Russell Crowe.
Next, Alwyn portrayed a slave owner in a 2019 biographical drama Harriet, facing Janelle Monáe and Cynthia Erivo. This was followed by his first TV show, the 2019 dark fantasy miniseries A Christmas Carolbased on the classic novel by Charles Dickens.
In 2021, he made an appearance in the drama film Remembrance Part IIbefore her role in the film adaptation of Jojo Moyes’ 2008 romance novel The last letter from your loverwith Shailene Woodley, Callum Turner and Felicity Jones.
In 2022, he joins the cast of Conversations with friends, alongside Alison Oliver and Jemima Kirke, a miniseries based on Sally Rooney’s book about two Dublin students who form an unlikely bond with an older married couple. You can read The Independents Full review here.
Alwyn is quite tight-lipped about her personal life. Since he started dating Taylor Swift in 2016 – after crossing paths at the Met Gala that year – the pair have shared minimal details about their relationship.
A year after their supposed cute encounter, the couple made headlines. Swift confirmed their relationship at a listening party in October 2021 when she admitted that the song “Gorgeous” from her 2017 album Reputation was about Alwyn. She also revealed that they had been dating for a year until then.
The two kept their relationship off social media, but in a Vulture interview, Alwyn verified his contribution to the singer 2020 Folklore and Still albums, under the pseudonym of William Bowery. In a recent interview with the the wall street journal, he responded to reports that the couple were engaged by saying, “The truth is, if the answer was yes, I wouldn’t say, and if the answer was no, I wouldn’t say.”