Taylor Lautner is learning that “speak now” isn’t always the best advice. In a new interview, the actor acknowledged that his recent viral comment on TODAY about “praying” for John Mayer ahead of Taylor Swift‘s upcoming Speak Now re-release may not have been the right thing to say in hindsight, and clarified that he was 100% kidding when he said it.
“I don’t know if it was the wisest thing to say,” he confessed Wednesday (May 17) on SiriusXM’s The Happy Hour. “I was definitely joking. Clearly it’s taken off.”
Lautner also said that, while he didn’t initially realize how far his words would travel, his “diehard Swiftie” wife — who’s also named Taylor Lautner — knew immediately what the outcome would be. “She’s like, that’s gonna really trigger the Swifties,” he continued. “Or, I mean, they’re supportive of it because, I mean, I don’t know. I personally think John is a very talented musician, but I am aware of a couple songs that were on that album.”
The main song in question would be “Dear John,” a blistering ballad widely believed to be about Mayer, whom Swift dated in 2009. The nearly seven-minute track portrays its subject in an extremely negative light, outlining a toxic relationship plagued by imbalanced power dynamics and emotional manipulation — which is why Swifties, though generally amused by Lautner’s comment, probably don’t think Mayer deserves any prayers on his behalf.
Lautner first said he was “praying for John” in an interview with TODAY earlier this week, after which he posted a TikTok once again saying he was “#prayingforjohn.” In the video, he filmed himself literally getting down on his knees and pressing his hands together to pray while “Dear John” plays in the background.
The Twilight star had also remarked in the original TODAY interview that he felt he was “safe” from Swiftie hate ahead of the July 7 release of Speak Now (Taylor’s Version). That’s because the song he inspired on the original Speak Now after dating Swift in 2009, “Back to December,” showcases him in a much more positive light than “Dear John” does its main character; in fact, it’s a rare confession from the “Anti-Hero” singer that she was the wrongdoer in the relationship.
“It turns out freedom ain’t nothin’ but missin’ you/ Wishin’ I’d realized what I had when you were mine,” she sings on the 2010 track.
Listen to Taylor Lautner reflect on his “praying for John” comment in the video above.