Aaron Perry Taylor-Johnson (né Johnson; born 13 June 1990) is an English actor.[1] He is best known for his portrayal of the title character in Kick-Ass (2010) and its 2013 sequel, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe character Pietro Maximoff in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Taylor-Johnson in July 2014
Aaron Perry Johnson

(1990-06-13) 13 June 1990 (age 33)
High Wycombe, England
Years active1996–present
(m. 2012)

Johnson began performing as a child and appeared in films including Shanghai Knights (2003), The Illusionist (2006), and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008). He had his breakthrough performance as John Lennon in the biopic Nowhere Boy (2009), directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson, whom he married in 2012. He followed this with roles in the crime thriller Savages (2012), period drama Anna Karenina (2012), and monster film Godzilla (2014).

For his performance as a psychopathic drifter in the thriller film Nocturnal Animals (2016), Taylor-Johnson won the Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor and was nominated for the BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role. He has since appeared in the action films Tenet (2020) and Bullet Train (2022).

Early life edit

Taylor-Johnson was born Aaron Perry Johnson in High Wycombe[2] on 13 June 1990,[3][4] the son of housewife Sarah and civil engineer Robert Johnson.[4][5] He is Jewish,[6] and has a sister named Gemma who later had a small role in his film Tom & Thomas (2002).[7] He was educated at Holmer Green Senior School,[8] and attended the Jackie Palmer Stage School in High Wycombe between 1996 and 2008, studying drama, tap, jazz, acrobatics, and singing.[9]

Career edit

Taylor-Johnson with future wife Sam Taylor-Johnson in September 2010

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.[10] 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.[3] In 2003, Taylor-Johnson appeared as a young Charlie Chaplin in Shanghai Knights alongside Jackie Chan and Owen Wilson, with Chaplin depicted as a member of a London gang of street thugs. That year he also guest starred in a special live episode of ITV drama The Bill. 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.[11] Also in 2006, he starred in the film The Thief Lord, as Prosper.

Taylor-Johnson at the 2013 San Diego Comic-Con

Taylor-Johnson appeared as John Lennon in the 2009 biographical 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.[12][13] 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.[3] 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.[14] Taylor-Johnson starred in R.E.M.'s 2011 music video "Überlin", which was also directed by his then-fiancée.[15]

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.[16] Taylor-Johnson starred in the Godzilla reboot, released in May 2014.[17][18] Taylor-Johnson played Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), the sequel to 2012's The Avengers, as part of the Marvel Cinematic Universe.[19] Taylor-Johnson first appeared as the character in a post-credits scene of the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier (2014).[20] The role reunited him with Elizabeth Olsen, who played his wife in Godzilla.[18][19]

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,[21] 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 2020, Taylor-Johnson had a supporting role in Christopher Nolan's Tenet.[22] In 2022, he appeared in David Leitch's Bullet Train, an action-thriller film based on the novel Mariabītoru by Kōtarō Isaka.[23]

Taylor-Johnson will next play another Marvel character in Kraven the Hunter, set to be released in 2024 as part of the Sony's Spider-Man Universe.[24] He will also reunite with Leitch in the action film The Fall Guy,[25] and star in Robert Eggers horror film Nosferatu.[26]

Personal life edit

After Johnson met filmmaker Sam Taylor-Wood in 2009 on the set of their film Nowhere Boy, when he was 18 and she was 42,[27] the two began dating and were married in the chapel at Babington House on 21 June 2012.[28] They subsequently changed their surnames to Taylor-Johnson.[29] They have two daughters, while he is the stepfather of her two daughters from a previous marriage.[30]

Taylor-Johnson was named one of GQ's 50 best dressed British men in 2015.[31]

Filmography edit

Taylor-Johnson at the 2018 Toronto International Film Festival

Film edit

Year Title Role Notes
2000 The Apocalypse Johanan
2002 Tom & Thomas Tom Sheppard / Thomas
2003 Behind Closed Doors Sam Goodwin
Shanghai Knights Charlie Chaplin
2004 Dead Cool George
2006 The Thief Lord Prosper
The Illusionist Young Eisenheim
Fast Learners Neil Short film
The Best Man Michael (Aged 15)
2007 The Magic Door "Flip"
2008 Dummy Danny
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging Robbie Jennings
2009 The Greatest Bennett Brewer
Nowhere Boy John Lennon
2010 Kick-Ass Dave Lizewski / Kick-Ass
Chatroom William Collins
2011 Albert Nobbs Joe Mackins
2012 Savages Ben Leonard
Anna Karenina Count Alexei Kirillovich Vronsky Final credit as Aaron Johnson
2013 Kick-Ass 2 Dave Lizewski / Kick-Ass First credit as Aaron Taylor-Johnson
2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier Pietro Maximoff Uncredited cameo; mid-credits scene
Godzilla Lieutenant Ford Brody
2015 Avengers: Age of Ultron Pietro Maximoff
2016 Nocturnal Animals Ray Marcus
2017 The Wall Sergeant Allen "Ize" Isaac
2018 Outlaw King James Douglas, Lord of Douglas
A Million Little Pieces James Frey Also writer and producer
2020 Tenet Ives
2021 The King's Man Archie Reid
2022 Bullet Train Tangerine
2024 The Fall Guy Tom Ryder Post-production
Kraven the Hunter Sergei Kravinoff / Kraven the Hunter Post-production
Nosferatu Friedrich Harding Post-production[32]
Denotes films that have not yet been released

Television edit

Year Title Role Notes
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
2021 Calls Mark (voice) Episode: "The Beginning"

Video games edit

Year Title Voice role
2010 Kick-Ass: The Game Kick-Ass

Awards and nominations edit

Year Association Work Category Result
2009 London Film Critics Circle Awards Nowhere Boy and Dummy Young British Performer of the Year Nominated
British Independent Film Awards Nowhere Boy Best Actor Nominated
2010 Empire Awards Best Newcomer Won
Scream Awards Kick-Ass Best Breakout Performance - Male Nominated
Best Fantasy Actor Nominated
Best Superhero Nominated
Teen Choice Awards Choice Movie: Male Breakout Star Nominated
2011 Empire Awards Best Actor Nominated
British Academy Film Awards Rising Star Award Nominated
2012 EDA Awards Anna Karenina Best Depiction of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction (shared with Keira Knightley) Nominated
2016 San Diego Film Critics Society Awards Nocturnal Animals Best Supporting Actor Nominated
2017 Golden Globe Awards Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture Won
Santa Barbara International Film Festival Virtuoso Award Won
British Academy Film Awards Best Actor in a Supporting Role Nominated
2022 Locarno Film Festival Himself Excellence Award Davide Campari Won[33]

References edit

  1. ^ Rafanelli, Stephanie (8 May 2014). "Aaron Taylor-Johnson: 'I was raised by women. Now I'm raising women. And Sam's the best woman I know'". Evening Standard. Retrieved 10 May 2020. '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."'
  2. ^ "Aaron Johnson biography". The New York Times. Archived from the original on 8 December 2014. Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  3. ^ a b c Gray, Sadie. "The Times: Entertainment". The Times. London. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  4. ^ a b "Aaron Johnson profile". Uk-tv-guide.com. Archived from the original on 13 September 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  5. ^ Maher, Kevin (3 October 2009). "Aaron Johnson: Beatle mania". The Times. London. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  6. ^ Gilbey, Ryan (23 April 2015). "Aaron Taylor-Johnson: 'Changing my name felt beautiful'". The Guardian. Retrieved 9 August 2015. 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.
  7. ^ Gavilanes, Grace (8 July 2012). "10 Things to Know About Aaron Johnson". Archived from the original on 14 January 2018. Retrieved 6 October 2019.
  8. ^ "Hgss.co.uk". Archived from the original on 4 April 2015.
  9. ^ Cain, Rebecca (3 January 2010). "Another successful year for the Jackie Palmer Stage School and agency". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  10. ^ "Sewell to Return to Stage in Macbeth". Archived from the original on 12 April 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  11. ^ Writer/director Neil Burger explains this on the film's DVD commentary.
  12. ^ "Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news". Aintitcool.com. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  13. ^ Gholson, John (2 May 2011). "'Kick-Ass' Kicks Ass at BNAT – The Moviefone Blog". Scifisquad.com. Archived from the original on 23 March 2010. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  14. ^ Sneider, Jeff (6 December 2010). "Aaron Johnson Joins Mia Wasikowska in 'Albert Nobbs'". Thewrap.com. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  15. ^ "Watch REM's Uberlin, starring Aaron Johnson – video". The Guardian. London. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  16. ^ McWeeny, Drew (30 June 2012). "Review: Oliver Stone turns Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, and Blake Lively into 'Savages'". HitFix. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  17. ^ Kroll, Justin (6 February 2013). "Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston circling 'Godzilla'". Variety. Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  18. ^ a b Gettell, Oliver (25 February 2014). "'Godzilla' trailer: Bryan Cranston panics, destruction rains down". Los Angeles Times. Archived from the original on 26 February 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  19. ^ a b "Official: Elizabeth Olsen & Aaron Taylor-Johnson Join 'Avengers: Age of Ultron'". Marvel. 25 November 2013. Archived from the original on 8 January 2014. Retrieved 25 November 2013.
  20. ^ Milly, Jenna (14 March 2014). "'Captain America: The Winter Soldier' premiere: Crossover is the word". Entertainment Weekly. Archived from the original on 15 March 2014. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  21. ^ Kroll, Justin (9 May 2016). "Aaron Taylor-Johnson Eyed for Lead in Doug Liman's 'The Wall' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  22. ^ Hipes, Patrick (22 May 2019). "Christopher Nolan's New Movie Gets A Title, Final Cast As Shooting Begins". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  23. ^ McNary, Dave (22 October 2020). "Aaron Taylor-Johnson Joins Brad Pitt on 'Bullet Train' at Sony". Variety. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  24. ^ Verhoeven, Beatrice (26 May 2021). "Aaron Taylor-Johnson to Play Spider-Man Villain Kraven the Hunter in Solo Movie". TheWrap. Retrieved 26 May 2021.
  25. ^ Kroll, Justin (28 October 2022). "Aaron Taylor-Johnson Joins Ryan Gosling In The Fall Guy". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  26. ^ Kroll, Justin (3 March 2023). "Aaron Taylor-Johnson Joins Robert Eggers' Nosferatu Movie For Focus". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 3 March 2023.
  27. ^ Jessen, Monique; Chi, Paul (3 May 2010). "She's Having His Baby!". People. Archived from the original on 7 December 2020. Retrieved 27 October 2021.
  28. ^ Buchanan, Kyle (22 June 2012). "Aaron Johnson, Sam Taylor-Wood Marry". Vulture. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  29. ^ Shira, Dahvi (22 June 2012). "Aaron Johnson Marries Sam Taylor-Wood". People. Retrieved 23 October 2020.
  30. ^ Gilbey, Ryan (23 April 2015). "Aaron Taylor-Johnson: 'Changing my name felt beautiful'". The Guardian. Retrieved 2 May 2021.
  31. ^ "50 Best Dressed Men in Britain 2015". GQ. 5 January 2015. Archived from the original on 7 January 2015.
  32. ^ Squires, John (30 May 2023). "Filming on the Robert Eggers 'Nosferatu' Remake Has Reportedly Wrapped in Prague". Bloody Disgusting. Retrieved 30 May 2023.
  33. ^ Vivarelli, Nick (8 July 2022). "Aaron Taylor-Johnson to be Honored With Locarno Film Festival Excellence Award". Variety. Retrieved 11 August 2022.

External links edit