Aaron Taylor-Johnson

Aaron Perry Taylor-Johnson ( Johnson;[1] born 13 June 1990)[2][3] is an English[4] actor and screenwriter, best known for his portrayal of the titular character in the Kick-Ass films and Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015).

Aaron Taylor-Johnson
Johnson at the 2014 San Diego Comic Con
Aaron Perry Johnson

(1990-06-13) 13 June 1990
Other namesAaron Johnson
OccupationActor, screenwriter
Years active2000–present

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) and Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging (2008). He had his breakthrough performance in the John Lennon biopic Nowhere Boy (2009). He 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.

Early life

Aaron Perry Johnson was born in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire,[5] the son of Sarah and Robert Johnson, a housewife mother and civil engineer father, respectively.[3][6] He has a sister, Gemma, who appeared in his film Tom & Thomas (2002) in a small role.[7] He is Jewish.[8] He was educated at Holmer Green Senior School[9] and attended the Jackie Palmer Stage School in High Wycombe between 1996 and 2008, where he studied drama, tap, jazz, acrobatics, and singing.[10]


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.[11] 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.[2] 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.[12] Also in 2006, he starred in the film The Thief Lord, as Prosper.

Taylor-Johnson appeared as John Lennon in the 2009 biopic 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.[13][14] 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.[2] 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.[15] Taylor-Johnson starred in R.E.M.'s 2011 music video "Überlin", which was also directed by his then-fiancée.[16]

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.[17] Taylor-Johnson starred in the Godzilla reboot, released in May 2014.[18][19] Taylor-Johnson played Quicksilver in Avengers: Age of Ultron (2015), the sequel to The Avengers.[20] Taylor-Johnson first appeared as the character in a post-credits scene of the film Captain America: The Winter Soldier.[21] The role reunited him with Elizabeth Olsen, who played his wife in Godzilla.[19][20]

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,[22] 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, set for release in July 2020.[23]

Personal life

Aaron Johnson began a relationship with Nowhere Boy director Sam Taylor-Wood, after meeting on the 2009 set of the film when he was 18 and she was 42.[24] They announced their engagement in October 2009 and married at Babington House, Somerset, England on 21 June 2012. The two changed their surnames to "Taylor-Johnson" and use the surname professionally.[25][24][26][27] The couple has two daughters. He is also stepfather to two daughters from his wife's previous marriage.

Taylor-Johnson was named one of GQ's 50 best dressed British men in 2015.[28]



Denotes works that have not yet been released
Year Title Role Director Notes
2000 The Apocalypse Johanan Raffaele Mertes
2002 Tom & Thomas Tom Sheppard / Thomas Esmé Lammers
2003 Behind Closed Doors Sam Goodwin Louis Caulfield
Shanghai Knights Charlie Chaplin David Dobkin
2004 Dead Cool George David Cohen
2006 The Thief Lord Prosper Richard Claus
The Illusionist Young Eisenheim Neil Burger
Fast Learners Neil Christoph Röhl Short film
The Best Man Michael (Aged 15) Stefan Schwartz
2007 The Magic Door Flip Paul Matthews
2008 Dummy Danny Matthew Thompson Nominated — ALFS Award for Young British Performer of the Year
Angus, Thongs and Perfect Snogging Robbie Jennings Gurinder Chadha
2009 The Greatest Bennett Brewer Shana Feste
Nowhere Boy John Lennon Sam Taylor-Johnson Empire Award for Best Newcomer
Nominated — ALFS Award for Young British Performer of the Year
Nominated — British Independent Film Award for Best Actor
2010 Kick-Ass David "Dave" Lizewski / Kick-Ass Matthew Vaughn Nominated — Empire Award for Best Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Rising Star Award
Nominated — Scream Award for Best Breakout Performance - Male
Nominated — Scream Award for Best Fantasy Actor
Nominated — Scream Award for Best Superhero
Nominated — Teen Choice Award for Breakout Male
Chatroom William Collins Hideo Nakata
2011 Albert Nobbs Joe Mackins Rodrigo García
2012 Savages Ben Oliver Stone
Anna Karenina Count Vronsky Joe Wright Final time credited as Aaron Johnson
Nominated — Alliance of Women Film Journalists Award for Best Depiction of Nudity, Sexuality, or Seduction (shared w/ Keira Knightley)
2013 Kick-Ass 2 David "Dave" Lizewski / Kick-Ass Jeff Wadlow First time credited as Aaron Taylor-Johnson
2014 Captain America: The Winter Soldier Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver Anthony and Joe Russo Uncredited cameo
Godzilla Lt. Ford Brody Gareth Edwards
2015 Avengers: Age of Ultron Pietro Maximoff / Quicksilver Joss Whedon
2016 Nocturnal Animals Ray Marcus Tom Ford Golden Globe Award for Best Supporting Actor – Motion Picture
Virtuosos Award for Best Supporting Actor
Nominated — BAFTA Award for Best Actor in a Supporting Role
Nominated — San Diego Film Critics Society Award for Best Supporting Actor
2017 The Wall Sgt. Allen "Ize" Isaac Doug Liman
2018 Outlaw King James Douglas, Lord of Douglas David Mackenzie
A Million Little Pieces James Frey Sam Taylor-Johnson Also writer
2020 The King's Man Lee Unwin Matthew Vaughn Post-production
Tenet TBA Christopher Nolan Post-production


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

Video games

Year Title Role Notes
2010 Kick-Ass: The Game Kick-Ass (voice)


  1. Births, Marriages & Deaths Index of England & Wales, 1916-2005.; at ancestry.com
  2. Gray, Sadie. "The Times: Entertainment". London: Entertainment.timesonline.co.uk. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  3. "Aaron Johnson profile". Uk-tv-guide.com. Archived from the original on 13 September 2013. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  4. 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 9 December 2019.
  5. "Aaron Johnson biography". NYTimes.com Movies & TV. The New York Times (All Movie Guide and Baseline). Retrieved 29 October 2011.
  6. Maher, Kevin (3 October 2009). "Aaron Johnson: Beatle mania". Times Online. London. Retrieved 24 April 2010.
  7. Gavilanes, Grace (8 July 2012). "10 Things to Know About Aaron Johnson".
  8. 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.
  9. "Hgss.co.uk". Archived from the original on 4 April 2015.
  10. Cain, Rebecca (3 January 2010). "Another successful year for the Jackie Palmer Stage School and agency". Bucks Free Press. Retrieved 3 January 2010.
  11. "Sewell to Return to Stage in Macbeth". Archived from the original on 12 April 2013. Retrieved 16 February 2013.
  12. Writer/director Neil Burger explains this on the film's DVD commentary.
  13. "Ain't It Cool News: The best in movie, TV, DVD, and comic book news". Aintitcool.com. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  14. Gholson, John (2 May 2011). "'Kick-Ass' Kicks Ass at BNAT - The Moviefone Blog". Scifisquad.com. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  15. Sneider, Jeff (6 December 2010). "Aaron Johnson Joins Mia Wasikowska in 'Albert Nobbs'". Thewrap.com. Retrieved 26 October 2011.
  16. "Watch REM's Uberlin, starring Aaron Johnson - video". Guardian. London. 2 March 2011. Retrieved 4 December 2011.
  17. McWeeny, Drew (30 June 2012). "Review: Oliver Stone turns Aaron Johnson, Taylor Kitsch, and Blake Lively into 'Savages'". HitFix. Retrieved 24 August 2012.
  18. Kroll, Justin (6 February 2013). "Elizabeth Olsen, Bryan Cranston circling 'Godzilla'". Variety. Archived from the original on 13 March 2013. Retrieved 17 March 2014.
  19. 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.
  20. "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.
  21. 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.
  22. Kroll, Justin (9 May 2016). "Aaron Taylor-Johnson Eyed for Lead in Doug Liman's 'The Wall' (EXCLUSIVE)". Variety. Retrieved 1 December 2016.
  23. Hipes, Patrick (22 May 2019). "Christopher Nolan's New Movie Gets A Title, Final Cast As Shooting Begins". Deadline Hollywood. Retrieved 22 May 2019.
  24. "She's Having His Baby!". People. 3 May 2010. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  25. Buchanan, Kyle. "Aaron Johnson, Sam Taylor-Wood Marry". Vulture. Retrieved 23 June 2012.
  26. "50 Shades of Grey film to be directed by Sam Taylor-Johnson". Shepton Mallet Journal. Archived from the original on 22 May 2014.
  27. "Aaron Johnson, fiancé of artist Sam Taylor-Wood, considers himself 'a very lucky man'". The Telegraph. London. 27 November 2009. Retrieved 25 January 2012.
  28. "50 Best Dressed Men in Britain 2015". GQ. 5 January 2015. Archived from the original on 7 January 2015.
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