A journalist for The Guardian has learned a major lesson when interviewing Jake Gyllenhaal: don't ask him about Taylor Swift.

The pair dated briefly back in 2010 but that didn't stop Tim Jonze from bringing up their relationship in a recent interview about Gyllenhaal's latest movie, Life.

Things quickly got awkward. Gyllenhaal began responding, but trailed off: "I think when you're in a relationship, you are constantly scrutinised, your friends are scrutinised, but ..."

Jonze then wrote: "He trails off and stares at me, ramping up the intensity of his eyes like he's done in so many roles ... Gyllenhaal just continues to stare. Then he performs an exaggerated shrug."

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Gyllenhaal then replied: "I would love to not talk about my personal life."

Jonze tried to press forward with his line of questioning, but every effort was greet with a cold smile and the reply: "I would love to talk about the movie."

Swift has become one of the most famous pop stars working today, and recently engaged in a high profile relationship with Tom Hiddleston, with the pair dubbed 'Hiddleswift'.

Gyllenhaal has dated a string of famous faces, including Kirsten Dunst and Reese Witherspoon.