Who’s John Green? And what’s a “Swiftie”?
He’s the YA writer, 41, behind best-sellers like The Fault in Our Stars. She’s the planet’s biggest pop star, 28. Together, they’re our favorite power couple—in a strictly professional sense, of course. Green has been married to his wife, Sarah, for 12 years. And as Swifties (the singer’s ride-or-die fans) well know, her paramours get exhaustively documented in the celeb-gossip sphere—and in her own songs—with Green’s name never making the list. But their long-distance lovefest on social media has been setting the internet on fire for years.
First, the meet-cute.
When Swift’s new album dropped in fall 2014, Green blogged about it within hours. “I’m in Paper Towns movie meetings all day and they think I’m making notes on the script but I’m actually listening to 1989,” read his Tumblr post. An apparently agog Swift reposted his comment, with an addendum: “My. Favorite. Author. Just. Said. WHAT?!?!” Then it was Green’s turn to be stunned. He announced to his Twitter followers—5.2 million, these days—“Taylor Swift reblogged me on tumblr and called me her favorite author. Trying not to freak out.”
It was the mutual crush—a platonic one, whatever—we never knew we wanted.
Fans squee-ed all over Green’s Twitter page. Vox.com reported that the convo was “all the Taylor fanbase can talk about today.”
Soon they took things to the next level: a phone call.
A month later, Green tweeted, “Taylor Swift is very funny and generous over the telephone. (Which I know because we just spoke on the phone.)” Two minutes later, he expounded further on the subject: “(!!!!!!!!!).” Feel the heat!
People began to talk.
Within hours, with fans swooning over the news, Time reporters speculated on the chat in a story headlined “6 Things John Green and Taylor Swift Could Have Discussed on the Phone.”
Green openly professed his admiration.
In a July 2015 interview while promoting the film version of his book Paper Towns, Green didn’t play coy: “I’m a big Taylor Swift fan.” They hadn’t met, except over FaceTime, when Swift squad member (and Paper Towns actress) Cara Delevingne rang her up.
Expectations were high, but exceeded.
“Unfortunately, she is just as awesome in person as you’d expect,” Green reported back. “I’d love to meet her.”
Dreams came true.
At Swift’s Bankers Life Fieldhouse concert in September 2015, she announced, “John Green is here tonight, so we are very, very lucky.” He soon posted a backstage photo with the singer, captioning it, “With my best friends and Taylor Swift (who was so lovely and put on an AWESOME show).”
It kind of makes sense.
The two share more than just social-media savvy—like an ability to tap into young people’s complex emotions with authenticity. Whether you’re looking back on your teenage years with nostalgia or living through them now, Swift and Green capture those moments and expertly bottle them up into books and songs.
So what does the future hold?
Swift and Green both declined to comment for this story, so we’re left to our own (overactive) imaginations. Perhaps some kind of collaboration lies ahead? One of her songs on the movie soundtrack for one of his books? Or if Swift wants to bolster her budding acting career—she’s slated to star in the upcoming film version of Cats—there might be a role for her in Looking for Alaska, being adapted for Hulu. Green’s on board. “It could be one of those movies where Taylor Swift plays every character, just in a different outfit,” he has said. “Like Austin Powers, starring Taylor Swift and Taylor Swift.”