Aaron Perry Taylor-Johnson (born 13 June 1990) is an English actor. He is best known for his portrayal of the title character in Kick-Ass (2010) and its 2013 sequel, and Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015). Taylor-Johnson began performing at age six and has appeared in films, such as Shanghai Knights (2003), playing a young Charlie Chaplin, The Illusionist (2006), The Thief Lord (2006), and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008).
Taylor-Johnson at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con
Aaron Perry Johnson
13 June 1990
High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, England
|Other names||Aaron Johnson|
He had his breakthrough performance in the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy (2009). Taylor-Johnson went on to portray Ben in the Oliver Stone-directed crime thriller Savages (2012), Russian aristocrat Count Vronsky in Joe Wright's adaptation of Anna Karenina (2012) and Lt. Brody in Gareth Edwards' monster movie Godzilla (2014).
For his performance as psychopathic drifter Ray Marcus in Tom Ford's thriller Nocturnal Animals (2016), he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. Taylor-Johnson later starred as military commander Ives in Christopher Nolan's spy action epic Tenet (2020).
Aaron Perry Johnson was born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, the son of Sarah and Robert Johnson, a housewife mother and civil engineer father, respectively. He has a sister, Gemma, who appeared in his film Tom & Thomas (2002) in a small role. Taylor-Johnson is Jewish. He was educated at Holmer Green Senior School, and attended the Jackie Palmer Stage School in High Wycombe between 1996 and 2008, where he studied drama, tap, jazz, acrobatics, and singing.
Taylor-Johnson began acting at the age of six. On stage, he appeared in a London production of Shakespeare's Macbeth, playing the son of Macduff alongside Rufus Sewell, who played Macbeth, in 1999. He appeared in Arthur Miller’s All My Sons in 2000. His television roles have included Niker in the 2004 BBC adaptation of the novel Feather Boy, Aaron in Danny Brocklehurst's ITV1 serial Talk to Me, and Owen Stephens in Nearly Famous. In 2003, Taylor-Johnson appeared as a young Charlie Chaplin in Shanghai Knights, with Chaplin depicted as a member of a London gang of street thugs. In 2006, he appeared in The Illusionist, appearing in the early flashback scenes as Edward Norton's character, Eduard Abramovicz, as a teenager. The scenes show the young Eduard as he first learns magic, and to do this, Johnson had to learn how to perform the ball trick displayed by his character. He learned how to perform the balancing of the egg on the stick, although that was effected mechanically. Also in 2006, he starred in the film The Thief Lord, as Prosper.
Taylor-Johnson appeared as John Lennon in the 2009 biographical film film Nowhere Boy, directed by Sam Taylor-Wood. His performance saw him receive the Empire Award for Best Newcomer and he was also nominated for Young British Performer of the Year by the London Film Critics' Circle. In 2010, Taylor-Johnson appeared as David "Dave" Lizewski/Kick-Ass, the lead character in Kick-Ass, based on the superhero comic book of the same name by Scottish writer Mark Millar. His performance in Kick-Ass saw him nominated for the BAFTA Rising Star Award. He has also appeared as the central character, William, in Hideo Nakata's Chatroom. In December 2010, Taylor-Johnson joined the cast of Albert Nobbs as a replacement for Orlando Bloom, who dropped out of the production due to his wife's pregnancy. Taylor-Johnson starred in R.E.M.'s 2011 music video "Überlin", which was also directed by his then-fiancée.
In 2012, Taylor-Johnson played Count Vronsky in Anna Karenina. Later that year, he starred as Ben in Oliver Stone's Savages. HitFix film critic Drew McWeeny was positive of the bond between Johnson and co-star Taylor Kitsch, which "seems not only credible but lived in and authentic throughout the film", and noted the evolution in maturity of Johnson since Kick-Ass. Taylor-Johnson starred in the Godzilla reboot, released in May 2014. Taylor-Johnson played Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), the sequel to The Avengers. Taylor-Johnson first appeared as the character in a post-credits scene of the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier. The role reunited him with Elizabeth Olsen, who played his wife in Godzilla.
In 2016, he played Ray, a menacing Texan, in Tom Ford's thriller Nocturnal Animals. For the role, he won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture. Taylor-Johnson also became first Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor winner since Richard Benjamin who did not receive an Academy Award nomination. For the role he also received a nomination for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. In 2017, he played an American soldier (alongside John Cena) in Doug Liman's thriller The Wall, and in 2018, he appeared in Outlaw King, a British-American historical action drama about Robert the Bruce and the Wars of Scottish Independence. In May 2019, Taylor-Johnson was cast in Christopher Nolan’s Tenet.
Taylor-Johnson will star in the West End production of the play The Pillowman by Martin McDonagh at the Duke of York's Theatre, which is scheduled to take place in 2021. He is also set to join the ensemble cast of Bullet Train, a film based on the novel Mariabītoru by Kōtarō Isaka.
Aaron Johnson began a relationship with director Sam Taylor-Wood, after meeting on the set of the film Nowhere Boy. They married at Babington House, Somerset, England on 21 June 2012. The two subsequently changed their surnames to Taylor-Johnson. The couple have two daughters; he is also stepfather to two daughters from his wife's previous marriage.
|Denotes works that have not yet been released|
|2001||Armadillo||Young Lorimer Black|
|2003||The Bill||Zac Clough||Episode: "162"|
|2004||Family Business||Paul Sullivan||1 episode|
|Feather Boy||Niker||3 episodes|
|2006||I Shouldn't Be Alive||Mark||4 episodes|
|Casualty||Joey Byrne||Episode: "Silent Ties"|
|2007||Talk to Me||Aaron||4 episodes|
|Coming Up||Eoin||Episode: "99,100"|
|Nearly Famous||Owen Stephens||6 episodes|
|Sherlock Holmes and the Baker Street Irregulars||Finch||Television film|
|2010||Kick-Ass: The Game||Kick-Ass (voice)|
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‘I went into the audition looking like a nerd. My hair was really crazy, curly and wacky. Then they got me to meet Matthew. At the end, when I finally admitted I was English, he said. “Nah, your accent’s not that good.” I was like, “Dude. I’m from High Wycombe.” ’
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He liked it recently when someone said he resembled a fashionable Hasidic Jew. “That was nice because I have really curly hair and also I’m Jewish,” he explains.
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- Writer/director Neil Burger explains this on the film's DVD commentary.
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- Gans, Andrew (5 June 2020). "West End Staging of Martin McDonagh's The Pillowman, Starring Aaron Taylor-Johnson and Steve Pemberton, Postponed". Playbill. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
- McNary, Dave (22 October 2020). "Aaron Taylor-Johnson Joins Brad Pitt on 'Bullet Train' at Sony". Variety. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
- Jessen, Monique; Chi, Paul (3 May 2010). "She's Having His Baby!". People. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
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- Gilbey, Ryan (23 April 2015). "Aaron Taylor-Johnson: 'Changing my name felt beautiful'". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
- "50 Best Dressed Men in Britain 2015". GQ. 5 January 2015. Archived from the original on 7 January 2015.
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