Andrew Scott addresses group chat with Joe Alwyn and Paul Mescal believed to have inspired Taylor Swift album

Andrew Scott has shed some light on the “Tortured Man Club” group chat he shared with Joe Alwyn and Paul Mescal, which some believe inspired the title of Taylor Swift’s latest record, The Tortured Poets Department.

While in dialogue with one another during the 2022 season of Variety’s Actors on Actors series, Mescal and Alwyn revealed that they were in a group chat named “Tortured Man Club”, created by the latter’s Catherine Called Birdy co-star Scott.

Given Swift and Alwyn broke up in 2023, fans theorized that the album’s name took inspiration from her ex’s group chat.

Addressing the rumors with Variety in a new cover story, Scott, 47, explained how the group got its name.

“Let me tell you what that is!” the Ripley star said. “So [Alywn and Mescal] were about to play these tortured characters, and I had played a tortured character in Fleabag.”

Alwyn was about to star in the TV adaptation of Sally Rooney’s best-selling novel, Conversations with Friends, while Mescal was preparing to take on his role in Charlotte Wells’ melancholic directorial debut, Aftersun.

“It wasn’t about our own characteristics!” Scott clarified, adding that the chat is no longer active.

Andrew Scott, Joe Alwyn and Taylor Swift (Getty Images)
Andrew Scott, Joe Alwyn and Taylor Swift (Getty Images)

“I think there were three texts, like, ‘Hey, guys.’ You know those groups that you set up, and they just collapse,” Scott said.

Swift and Alwyn were dating at the time of the group chat’s existence. They ended their six-year relationship in April 2023.

Scott went on to praise TTPD, calling it “sensational!”

“I texted [Swift] yesterday to say how amazing it is,” he said. “I think she is just a force of nature, just an extraordinary human, and this album is really, really amazing.”

Scott noted that his favorite song on the album is “The Smallest Man Who Ever Lived”, which listeners have speculated is about The 1975’s frontman Matty Healy, whom she briefly dated after her breakup with Alwyn.

Many fans expected the album would be heavily inspired by her relationship with British actor Alwyn. However, Swift took everyone by surprise as it emerged that her songs instead seemed to address her dalliance with Healy.

Swift is now dating Kansas City Chief tight end Travis Kelce. The pair have been traveling together throughout Europe, where the “Fortnight” singer is performing on her massive Eras Tour.