Tom Hiddleston’s Explanation Of That “I ♥ T.S.” Tank Top Is Cringe Fuel

February 8, 2017 / Posted by:

Tom Hiddleston should keep a lighter in his pants pocket at all times. That way whenever anyone brings up that mortifying moment when he traded in his dignity for a little pap fame by wearing that I ♥ T.S. tank top out in public, he can set his pants on fire and say, “Oh look, my pants are on fire. I have to go. Bye.” But during a two day-long interview with GQ’s Taffy Brodesser-Akner, Tom was asked about the most embarrassing clothing item since the skort and he goes on and on and on about it and gets deep. That would’ve been the perfect time for Tom to quote his former employer Taylor Swift by saying, “I would like to be excluded from this narrative.

Taffy spent two days in London with Tom and the article that came from their time together is a thing of hilarious, cringe-inducing beauty. It’s got the right touch of pure snark and sarcasm. What I got from Taffy’s piece, is that spending time with Tom is like spending time with Nermal from Garfield if Nermal from Garfield was a prep school drama student. He comes off exhausting, pretentious, a bit endearing and it seems like all he wants in the world is for you to like him, goddammit. If you haven’t already, read the entire thing. Taffy deserves a Pulitzer in snark and a Medal of Honor for sitting through his Tom Hanks impersonation.

The topic of ToTay came up during dinner. Taffy asked Tom if their relationship was real. Taffy writes that at first, Tom talked about Taylor as though he was reading from the script her PR team gave him before he signed their relationship contract termination papers.

“Taylor is an amazing woman,” reads the prepared statement Tom Hiddleston has memorized and is now giving me at The Bull & Last, where his voice has gone low. “She’s generous and kind and lovely, and we had the best time.” But I didn’t ask that, I say. I asked something else. So I wait, and he says, “Of course it was real.”

Taffy asked about THE TANK TOP. Tom’s answer confirms to me that one of the items in the Taylor Swift Squad orientation pack is an I ♥ T.S. tank top. And Tom also let us know that he doesn’t pack t-shirts when he goes on a beach vacation.

“The truth is, it was the Fourth of July and a public holiday and we were playing a game and I slipped and hurt my back. And I wanted to protect the graze from the sun and said, ’Does anyone have a T-shirt?’ And one of her friends said, ’I’ve got this.’ ” The friend pulled out the “I ♥ T.S.” tank top that Taylor’s friends are contractually obligated to own. “And we all laughed about it. It was a joke.”

So that’s his statement on the entire relationship: an explanation of the tank top. “It was a joke,” he repeats. “Among friends.”

The topic of the tank top made Tom sad, so Taffy told him that they could move on, but he kept going.

“I have to be so psychologically strong about not letting other people’s interpretations about my life affect my life. A relationship exists between two people. We will always know what it was. The narratives that are out there altogether have been extrapolated from pictures that were taken without consent or permission, with no context. Nobody had the context for that story. And I’m still trying to work out a way of having a personal life and protecting it, but also without hiding. So the hardest thing is that that was a joke among friends on the Fourth of July.”

And going….

“I don’t know,” he says. “I just, I was surprised. I was just surprised that it got so much attention. The tank top became an emblem of this thing.” It’s hard to tell me this, he says. He wants to trust me. He wants to trust that the world won’t use this to embarrass him again, but he doesn’t know. He just knows it will follow him until he talks about it.

Lord, he took that tank top more seriously than I did and that’s saying a lot. Bitch talks about that tank top moment like it’s Shakespearean.

Unlike Taylor who will probably write several Tom Hiddleston slam songs on her upcoming album titled An Emblem Of This Thing, he only had nice things to say about her.

And anyway, none of this has anything to do with the person he fell in love with. “I only know the woman I met. She’s incredible.” But, man, all those cameras. “A relationship in the limelight… A relationship always takes work. A relationship in the limelight takes work. And it’s not just the limelight. It’s everything else.” He wanted a regular relationship. So did she, he says she said. “So we decided to go out for dinner, we decided to travel.”

The morning after their dinner, Taffy was getting ready to leave for the airport when she noticed that Tom had sent her an email the night before. Tom asked if he could come to her hotel to talk to her about something. She wrote him back and 15 minutes later, he was at her door. Taffy writes that her hotel was 20 minutes away from Tom’s house (HA!). Tom once again got five hundred layers of serious and wanted Taffy to understand where he’s coming from. (Side note: Where in the HELL was his publicist?)

He wants me to know that he has no regrets, he says, “because you have to fight for love. You can’t live in fear of what people might say. You know, you have to be true to yourself.”

But I understood all that, I tell him. I understood last night. It’s six in the morning, Tom. I have a flight to catch. And he shakes his head, feeling foolish because maybe there was something he thought he could say that wasn’t quite coming out the right way, and instead he says, “Yeah, okay, I just wanted to make sure.”

I turn my tape recorder off and I stand up, but he doesn’t. He shakes his head again, his hands clasped together, and he hangs his head. I sit back down and we talk some more because I finally understand that he isn’t here as someone who needs to explain his side in a PR battle; he’s here as someone who is still crushed by the end of a relationship.

Tom and Taffy continued to talk about heartbreak and healing and all that shit. (Reminder: Tom and Taylor were a thing for 3 months.) Tom eventually helped Taffy with her luggage and walked her out of her hotel. I expected Taffy to write that she patted Tom on the head goodbye, the same way you’d pat the head of a Golden Retriever who you petsit for hours and couldn’t stand.

But seriously, the end of Taffy’s piece did make me kind of sad. Tom and Taylor may have been the Wonder Bread and mayo sandwich of celebrity relationships, but like Wonder Bread and mayo, they are absolutely perfect for each other.

Pic: GQ

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